As most of our friends and followers know, we are at opposite ends of the world. Chris is in France with her Dad, Wade is taking Anui down to Melbourne with crew. It has been eventful for both of us and we thought you might like to know what we have been up to. We will try and post weekly updates; here is the first.
Greg Wheat and his brother Malcolm joined Wade on board Anui on Sunday night, 24 November, for a quasi-delivery trip. The three of them headed out of Southport on the Gold Coast at stupid o’clock on Monday morning. It is amazing how much distance you can cover when you have a team of three doing overnighters on a speedy boat! They did a huge first passage of some 300 nm to Port Stephens which they got to on Tuesday night after 36 hours of non-stop sailing, pushed along by strengthening northerlies. They stayed a long way offshore to avail themselves of the East Australian Current, keep away from the many Fish Aggregating Devices along the NSW coast and the heavy smoke from the bushfires raging between Sydney and Brisbane. The team had a forced rest day on Wednesday while the wind turned southerly, then got back into it the following days, reaching Batemans Bay some 220 nm further on the southern coast of NSW by Friday morning, just before the return of contrary winds. The southerlies are forecast to blow for 5 or 6 days, so they will be stuck at Batemans Bay for that time.
The first picture that Wade sent was evidence of record breaking speed: Wade saw 18.5 knots on the instruments and photographed this one at 17.2 knots! You can see on the left hand panel True Wind 27.5, and 20.7 Apparent, with the wind on the port side at 143 degrees so on the back quarter.
With wind and current working together, they were flying and enjoying a relatively comfortable ride.
The last photo was taken during the second leg, done mainly under spinnaker.
Unfortunately because Mal has some medical issues, the two brothers have decided to get back to Brisbane, leaving Wade to wait for the return of the northerlies – a bit disappointing! Wade is lining up somebody else to help him for the Bass Strait leg.
As most of you know, my Dad is suffering from cancer and in a worsening condition. He has lived alone for 41/2 year since my Mum died, isolated in a small town in Normandy, and with hardly anyone to help him – his choice I must add. He was hospitalized over a month ago when my sister who lives and works in Toulouse at the other end of the country came to visit him. She moved mountains to help him and he now realizes he can no longer stay at home. I felt it was high time I got back to spend a few precious weeks with my Dad and do my bit to help him transition to a different stage: moving into a medically assisted retirement home in Toulouse where he can be close to family. As you can imagine it is a very distressing exercise for him to go through. So this sojourn is about supporting him to physically and emotionally make the transition.
My first week was marked of course with the very long voyage from Brisbane in Australia to Normandy in the north of France, then daily 100 km return drives between Dad’s house and the hospital where he still was until Wednesday night. We are now starting to prepare for the move. Much talking, hugging, a few tears and a lot of love shared.
To manage the stress, I have got myself into a routine of morning exercises and walks, followed by working through the to-do list of issues to sort out, medical appointments to line up, paperwork to fill out. Here are a few photos taken during my morning wanders…
It is winter: cold and at times rainy. Notice on one of the photos there is a yacht lying in a paddock! Can’t get away from boats even in the middle of the countryside!
That’s it for now. As you can see, we both have challenges ahead, but are managing.