Sunday, 29 June 2014

Sailing Around Australia - Separation

30th June 2014  Lincoln Cove Marina, Port Lincoln South Australia


It’s official from today. Our sailing around Australia adventures will continue within the next week. For the foreseeable future though, “Easy Tiger” will be sailing alone.

We had a farewell sundowner (that finished at 11.00pm) for the crew of Zofia, who headed off to Port St Vincent this morning. They are eventually headed for Tasmania. We will be heading for Adelaide (probably on Saturday) with a vague plan of Sydney by Christmas and the Urchin crew are staying a little longer in Port Lincoln.

Our “last supper” for the time being, was a good way to consummate our separation, with quite a few rounds of question and answer bringing us all to the realization that together, we had achieved and experienced some pretty amazing things.

The questions ranged from the best place we had been, the best experience we had enjoyed, the worst moments or anchorages, and went to, if you were to write an article for a magazine to describe our adventures so far, what would be the title?

Interestingly, there was only one unanimous answer. It was the people that we have met along the way have been the real highlights for all of us.

Someone told us before we left that they did not think that 6 crew aboard three boats would be able to cruise together for long.  That has now come true as each boat crew has different ideals and plans for the immediate future.

I think we have done particularly well to spend so much time with people who, let’s face it, were just acquaintances not so long ago.

What has come to light during our sailing around Australia adventures is that our mix and blend of six very different personalities has made for an “internal” adventure as well. As each personality has shone or dimmed at different times we have seen the best and otherwise in each other and so we have become friends. A bit like a family.

As in a “family” we have appreciated, recognized, encouraged, discouraged, accepted, ignored, annoyed, counseled, applauded and commiserated with each other on numerous occasions. I think that our biggest test has been giving each other “the shits” while sitting idle in the Port Lincoln marina for 2 months.

So last night’s sundowner was very fitting way to see off two members of the family as they venture off into the unknown by themselves. It was indeed a bit sad to see them go, but strangely, we are glad they did.

Knowing we are next to leave the comfort of our sailing family, we feel like Leanne said, “it’s time for us to grow up”. There will be no more borrowing bits and pieces from the others, no more splicing, sewing and knot help , no other boat to share bad weather with, no entertainment when anchoring, no-one to share anxiety with and dangerously for us, no-one to rescue our escapee dinghy.

When we do catch up with Zofia or Urchin again it will be a reunion of our sailing family. The memories of leaving Quindalup on a full moon among many shooting stars, Arrival
s in Albany and Esperance, spending a week in Bremer Bay and another week in Hopetoun, sailing across the bight, our month in Streaky Bay and our times in Port Lincoln will all be relived.

We will have new tall tales to tell, we will have a few laughs and maybe another session of Question and Answer. We look forward to that.

From Left Steve (Rattle, Bang and Clunk),  Leanne ( Is that the best you can do), Brian (B2 Hide your wine), Maree (I'm going up the mast) and Brian (B1 the gadget guru). Missing is Eva (nibbles). 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Sailing Around Australia - Holiday From Our Holiday

24th June 2014  -  Lincoln Cove Marina, Port Lincoln South Australia

The Holiday from Our Holiday

Our sailing around Australia Adventures aboard our catamaran “Easy Tiger” brought us to Port Lincoln South Australia. From here went on our “holiday from our holiday”.

Easy Tiger’s sailing around Australia Adventures began in November 2013, which is when we left from Mandurah Marina. Our ports of call have included, Bunbury, Quindalup, Albany, Bremer Bay, Hopetoun, Esperance, Duke of Orleans, Streaky bay, Sceale bay and Coffin bay.

For the past six months we have been studying every intricate detail of the weather, the sea conditions, the next anchorage and calculating fuel consumption, watching the fresh water, while carefully managing our budget to the last dollar.

Maintenance and repairs have been on our daily program, with a never-ending list waiting for the next port of call. Local boat supply shops have been known to lick their lips when we arrive and shed a tear when we depart their town.

Socializing has been an important part of our “routine”. For getting to know the “locals”, learning information from passing yachts and other cruisers, or planning discussions within our own group, sundowners are held every three or four days. There is also a blog and emails to write, plus friends and family to keep in touch with.

We were in quite a routine and all this had become, well, “normal”, by the time we arrived in Port Lincoln in April. We had all booked an extended stay, to take holidays from our adventures. This would allow us to fly home to visit family and friends.

Some time before we left on our adventures, Leanne’s family had booked a trip to Europe to celebrate her sister’s 50th Birthday. So, our five weeks at “home” included a trip to France and Italy and a cruise through southern Italy and Greece.

This meant that during our five weeks at home we had 8 airplane trips, 10 train trips and slept in 22 different beds.

Now back in Port Lincoln aboard “Easy Tiger” we have suffered a severe case of jet lag. It has been a struggle to get up in the mornings and long periods of the day are spent aimlessly.

 Somehow though, we have managed to get into some major jobs on the boat, included sorting out the new anchor winch and its new mounting brackets, Sail bag repairs, head sail sewn up, a trampoline repaired and  hatches resealed.

Our plan was to restart our Sailing Around Australia Adventures from 30th June, so our routine of weather study and discussion has been restarted. However the weather report was all about a “megablizzard” bringing huge amounts of wind, snow and hail to South Eastern Australia, our next destination. So another week in the safety of the Lincoln Cove Marina.

I think actually, our real holiday from our holiday has arrived. The weather and conditions in Port Lincoln mean there isn’t anywhere to go and “normal” activities can’t be resumed. With that in mind I think I will roll over, pull the doona up and rest while the wind and rain howl outside. After all who says you can’t sleep in until 9.00am on a holiday?

Leanne swimming with the tuna in Port Lincoln.

Europe 2014 - Nice place to visit...

But it's nice to be back to "normal"