Franco-Australian Series – Week 2

Two weeks at either end of the world… Here is the second episode of our Franco-Australian Series!

In Australia

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!

Scott and Baz enjoying sundowners on board

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.

Big cloud from the fires at the back of Batemans Bay

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.

In France

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.

Forest walk in the Parc de Parrissot
XVth century Manor of Hom
Vegies at our favourite green grocer in Beaumont and of course Cider!

Talk to you again in a week’s time!

15 thoughts on “Franco-Australian Series – Week 2

  1. I hope your dad will be OK! ☺️ I’ve heard of the terrible fires there, I’m glad Anui and Wade got away from it. I feel so bad for the residents. Your walk has a lovely view, enjoy! 😎

    • Thanks John. It is a tough time for my Dad, but at least we are able to spend time together. As for Wade, yes, glad he is at sea and safe. Those fires are devastating and it’s not even summer!

  2. Hi Chris,
    Our thoughts are very much with you for the personal challenges ahead for you and your family. In terms of the weather we are glad it is not -2, however we are sweltering at the other end of the scale….much love. Trish

  3. The current craft I am on has spent 2 days in Eden, another 2 to come before Bass Strait is reasonable. Probably a Sunday departure, as Wade is planning too. Hope to see him or talk as we go.

  4. I’m sorry that you are going through difficult times. It’s hard to make decisions not knowing what the result of it’s going to be. You just have to make the decision and hope for the best. G-d will make the decision for you.
    Try to be with your Dad the most time you can, thus, he won’t feel alone. Take care, my friend.

    • Thanks for your thoughts HJ. I think I am lucky to be able to spend this time with my Dad and be of help. Although it is tough, it is precious.

  5. The places you walk are wonderful, it is good you are doing this as it will help you in every way. I am glad Wade is staying safe, particularly with the poor visibility, I hope the embers which are flying around will not damage Anui.

    • Hi Sue – just about to go on another one of my walks. It is cold but good. Wade has just reached Eden where he will be till Sunday. He has been OK… just a lot of sweeping multiple times a day while he was at Batemans Bay!

  6. It is very hard sometimes, knowing the best way to help aging parents. We are in a similar situation ourselves and can empathise with your situation. Sounds like Wade will be using the same weather front we will. We are currently in Launceston, to have our mast raised, and will be heading back to Devonport on Monday. No sails yet, so motoring. The equinox westerlies have been relentless this year, and even the hardy north coast people are heartily sick of them, and are wondering if they will ever end!

    • Hi Pete & Deb – thinking of you and Selah’s launch! Yes Wade came down to Eden on westerly. Looks like he will have a weather window to leave Eden on Sunday but only enough time to get to the Gippsland Lakes, our old stomping grounds! Bass Strait, even just along the coast will be horrible around the Cape and Gabo! Take care! Looking forward to reading about the launch.

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