On Thursday, 6/8/15, we had to get back to the Marina at Rosslyn Bay, Yeppoon, for Véro and Dider to catch a plane back to France. Wade, Bengie and I stayed on till the following Sunday morning.
But not without a last few blasts: a rollicking sail with waves breaking through the nets, the sight of an osprey on its huge nest of sticks at Middle Island, another beautiful sunset, and turtles in the water two hours before the guys caught their plane! As for Bengie the ship’s cat, she survived her maiden flights: two plane rides to get home to Melbourne! She is one very adaptable and lovable critter.
So many firsts for our family!
This cruise has been a treasure trove of discoveries, intense emotions, with enough memories created to last us for a lifetime. There were so many firsts, especially for our family, which were elating at times, but sometimes challenging too!First time on a catamaran, first time cruising, first time sleeping on a boat, first time nearly rolling out of bed in the swell, first time snorkeling, first time in the tropics, first time seeing whales, dolphins and a dugong, first time swimming with reef sharks, first time having to wash yourself in salt water, first time in a lagoon, first time being eaten alive by sand flies, first time on a coral reef, first time driving a dinghy, first time having to watch every millilitre of fresh water you use, first time kayaking, first time running out of knickers and T shirts and doing your laundry in a bucket, first time seeing tropical fish in the wild, first time being in a mangrove, first time catching fish off the back of the boat, first time steering a yacht, first time losing sight of land, first time doing without a ‘real’ shower for weeks, first time balancing on a heaving deck, first time eating sashimi fish, first time chucking up in a bucket, first time being winched up a mast, first time being drenched by an incoming wave, first time doing dishes in salt water, first time seeing so many new birds, first time living in a restricted space, first time swimming with a school of fusiliers, first time minimising power usage, first time seeing sea turtles, first time picking oysters off the rocks, first time witnessing spectacular daily sunrises and sunsets, and the list goes on!
It has been a unique opportunity for my family to get an insight into our passion and experience the wonders as well as the constraints of the cruising life. It has been a thrill for us to share our dream with them and see their excitement. There is no doubt sharing intensifies the experience. They will be back. We will be back. In fact this cruise has re-confirmed for us that this is the life we want to live after we give up work. So many more adventures to plot, so many amazing seascapes to explore… It can’t come quick enough.
Where to from here?
From here, we are all sorting through hundreds of photos and diary notes. An illustrated journal will follow, a photo book of our best images will be published and magazine articles will be written. So it is not over! It is just going to take time, and this in itself is not such a bad thing, since it makes our 2015 Queensland Winter Cruise last longer.