Well, here we are in mid June: Settled into our new townhouse, the federal election is behind us, with a new Labour government in power, winter is upon us and four weeks of prostate radiation therapy has been completed.
Shortly afterwards, Karen and Evan flew to South America for three months and Michelle to the UK and Europe for three months. We discovered that kids are for keeps: they have unloaded all their sh*t in our attic and garage while they are away, as Karen had rented out her house in Newcastle for the foreseeable future and Michelle has parked her camper van somewhere in Bondi. Never a dull moment!
We can move forward with other projects and plan for some more sailing and travelling. Roles have now been reversed: kids not worrying about parents at sea, but parents wondering about the whereabouts of their kids – Karen and Evan somewhere in South America for three months and Michelle away in Europe and the UK for three months.
We were asked to do a talk on circumnavigating the world for a sailing gathering. In hindsight I should have declined, as three weeks into my radiation treatment, I was really feeling knackered and failed to put on a happy face. Apart from that, a third of the audience could see the television screen showing our photos, while another third had to watch a footy match on another screen.The rest was an unrelated rowdy crowd having dinner right next to us. To crown it all, the next speaker asked us to hurry up, about ten minutes before the end of our talk, as he was eager to share his local sailing plans for the year ahead in a lengthy monologue. This event reminded us of stand up comedy in a noisy pub – but hey, this is Australia and we love it.
Here in Sydney, we have had a very wet couple of months due to the La Nina weather system. The plants in our front and back gardens are thriving and had to be cut back as they were leaning over the fences of our neighbours.
We had some news from Karen and Evan in South America – they were having a good time. Adrenaline junkie Karen, who summited Cotopaxi in Ecuador during her last visit, had to jump of a cliff with a parasail bloke at San Gil in the Andes. San Gil is famous for extreme sports – they also did a big zip line run and canyoning. Great to see Evan taking her to more sedate venues in the evenings.
A call from Marine Rescue alerted us that our life raft stored in a locker under the cockpit floor, had spontaneously inflated and was hanging out the back of the boat. It had blown the locker panel into the water and the swim platform off its hinges. We managed to retrieve and pack the raft to courier it back to the manufacturer’s in Queensland. It was fully serviced by their agents in Panama eleven months ago, but the cause is unknown until they have inspected it. We shudder to think of the consequences, if this had happened in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
We celebrated the completion of my prostate nuking with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow at the Glen Street Theatre (the show name is almost as long as the show). It was excellent Aussie humour – it also felt strange to be sitting shoulder to shoulder in a packed theatre, after almost six years out in the open at sea. It gave us enough confidence to go to the local cinema the following week.
Michelle, who is having a three month break from her post at the UN, started her trip with a yoga retreat and tech detox in Portugal. Then, off to the UK for time with her many friends there – she worked in London for five years. She enjoyed numerous hikes in Cornwall and Dartmoor with her “Women in the Forests” hiking group, started in 2017. She later met up with Kristian for hikes in Switzerland and then attending the Montreux Jazz Festival. After this, she planned to do part of the Camino de Santiago walk through northern Spain and Portugal.
Having almost settled down in our townhouse, we will now focus on getting the boat back in shape and preparing her for another long cruise in the new year. We will keep you posted – cheers for now!
Dirk and Annie