Two weeks at either end of the world… Here is the second episode of our Franco-Australian Series!
The weather has not been cooperative with strong southerlies blowing. Anui was berthed at the Batemans Bay Marina since last Friday. At least it was safe, Wade could get off the boat easily and a couple of local friends came to visit!
The most shocking part was the quantity of ash from the catastrophic fires only a few miles away descending on the boat! But we are lucky… many people are not. The fire front is the largest ever seen: some 6000 km burning across multiple states, devastating hundreds of thousands of hectares and destroying hundreds of homes.
With the forced halt to the passage south, Wade has been busy contacting sailing buddies to continue to Melbourne once the northerlies return. He has found crew and has now left the marina at Batemans Bay for Eden. A departure around the corner into Bass Strait may be possible on the weekend.
Wade would like to give special thanks to Greg Wheat for his help in getting down from the Gold Coast in Queensland to Batemans Bay in southern New South Wales – about half way to Melbourne. He is especially grateful for his assistance during two malfunctions: one with getting the spinnaker down when the sock was misbehaving, and the second with the screecher when the halyard partially let go, the sail dropped, needed to be pulled out of the water, tied to the mast then lowered and re-furled on the jetty!
Let’s hope the next leg of about 500 nm to Eden, the Gippsland Lakes, Wilsons Promontory, Phillip Island, Port Phillip Bay and finally Melbourne will be without drama. Here is a chart of the next passage.
This second week has seen lots of organising for my Dad’s move to Toulouse. We have lists going everywhere: medical appointments, changes of address, paperwork to complete, menus for two weeks to eat the pantry down… The practical things are relatively straight forward although unsettling for my Dad. It is the mental adjustment to the idea of leaving his home forever that is much tougher. It fills him with sorrow and anxiety. Setting our departure date – 16 December – brought things sharply into focus for him.
Dad has had ups and down both morally and physically, and a fall that saw us go to emergencies at the local hospital did not help matters! He is so fragile yet tough at the same time. Nothing broken thank goodness, but bruises galore.
There are times where I am scared it’s all going to be too much for Dad, that the move will be too heart breaking for him. When things deteriorate you have to make a choice and you always worry you might get it wrong. Although I think a very well set up and high quality aged care residence is the right place for my Dad to go to, I worry. How can you be sure you are making the right choice and won’t regret it later?
My daily walks keep me sane and help clear my mind especially in the low temperatures – 2oC ! Here are a few images.
Talk to you again in a week’s time!