Franco-Australian Series – Week 3

We have now been at either end of the world for three weeks, each of us with challenges to tackle. Here is our summary of week 3.

In Australia

Helped by Hayden who joined Wade at Batemans Bay, Anui is making great progress and is close to Melbourne.

The guys got to Eden last Friday. Only one little hassle: a broken lazy jack (what holds the mainsail bag along the boom) which got jerry rigged back up while they were waiting for a weather window to get ‘around the corner’ into Victoria. A proper fix will happen once Wade can get to a chandlery!

A break in the weather allowed them to leave Eden on Sunday afternoon and make a run for their Melbourne goal. They timed their departure perfectly and had a relatively smooth passage even if the wind died down overnight to the point where they had to motor-sail.

Gabo Island at sunset

They were offshore of the Gippsland Lakes early on Monday morning and kept going to Wilson’s Promontory, which they got to late in the evening, anchoring at Sealers Cove – a 30 hour passage from Eden. They had very little wind during the day. Sails went up and down but the engines stayed on most of the time.

Approaching the Prom!
Bengie has obviously taken a liking for Hayden!

Tuesday was a rest day at the Prom, while the strong westerlies returned briefly, but they were on the move again to Phillip Island on Wednesday. They will be hiding at Cleeland Bight for a few days as the westerlies are too strong to keep going. Getting closer to Melbourne though!

Here is that chart again

In France

This third week has been a reasonable one in Normandy. It has been about sorting my Dad’s affairs and personal effects: what to take down to Toulouse with us, what to pack in boxes and send via courier, what to just leave behind. The residence where Dad will live is furnished so we are simply taking clothes and a few meaningful items with us. The trouble is everything you touch in the house has a story, so it is hard to make a choice. Having gone through the process of moving out of our two houses to live on our boat, I know what it takes to pack away all you have lived with for years, reduce your belongings to fit in a few boxes and close the door on your old life. But of course it is much tougher when you are elderly, very ill and change avert!

Dad has good days and bad days. When he feels OK, small outings are possible. Here are a few images from two of these, taken at Ferrière-Sur-Risle and Le Bec Hellouin.

As we get closer to our departure from Normandy, my Dad really struggles. But this period together is precious. I am the cook, the nurse, the counsellor, the cleaner and although it is very hard going at times, it is also tender and loving. We talk a lot and share a lot with one another, and that is why I came here.

Au revoir… talk to you next week.

20 thoughts on “Franco-Australian Series – Week 3

  1. Wonderful update, I love the buildings in the village and beautiful scenery! Good news on Anui too, lovely photos. Here’s a hug for you and your dad from afar. 😎

  2. It’s so lovely you can spend this time with your dad. The village looks very pretty, what a lovely place to wander. Looking forward to seeing Wade.

  3. You know I read the first part and to the Gippsland Lakes part and thought, how will it be taking the boat there, a new one. I know Wade isn’t going there, but then I thought, how sad that you aren’t there as she comes to Victoria and home for the first time. I know it can’t be helped, but I am thinking of you.

    The photos from that place in France are stunning. Love old places like that. I’m glad you are there to help your dad and I know you have the strength to do this. I am looking forward to seeing you in Melbourne when you get back. Take care.

    • Hi Leanne. I am glad Wade did not go into the Gippsland Lakes as I wanted to be there with him to show off Anui. That really was our home port, not Melbourne. We will stop at the Lakes when we go back north.

      I hope to fly back to Melbourne at the very start of January so will see you then – probably at the Anchorage Marina in Williamstown. More on that later!

      As for the strength with my Dad… it is difficult. It is stressful and some days I cope with it and others I don’t and feel very frazzled.

  4. A moving post. Thank you for sharing. Wade is a passage making machine! I’m amazed by his progress, with so few gaps between the dominant westerlies we have had over the last months.

    • They are a bit stuck at the moment – at Cleeland Bight, Phillip Island for a few days. They had to motor sail a fair bit along the Vic coast!

      • Yes. Weather watching has become a obsession for me, as I’m mentally preparing for our own voyaging. I’ve noticed the lulls between the westerly fronts are very light 5 to 10’s, then straight back to 20-30’s from the west! If Wade is agreeable, (after he’s done with this trip) I’d love to have a chat about how he plans for long passages.

  5. Wade visited us on the new ‘Baruch’ at Eden.; meeting my friend and owner Glenn. We left there 9am Sunday last, taking 19hrs to Lakes Entrance.
    Glad that Wade has dodged the fronts that came after us !

  6. Watching Anui’s progress Chris. Will catch up with Wade (& maybe you) in Melb. Good to hear you are having quality time with your dad. Lots of special memories.

  7. Love the pictures. Stay strong, I know it is difficult but it is worth it on multiple levels. Thinking of you as you travel south. Stay safe

  8. What a beautiful village your Dad lives in. I can understand his reluctance, but there comes a time for change. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job at softening the transition for you Dad, a very special time to share together. Well done.

    Wade, I assume your butter is getting firmer in the lower latitudes. What a great experience. I hope I can join in and lend a hand one day when I am not so time poor.

    Take care both of you. Deb and I wish you a Merry Christmas and Safe and Happy New Year. Cheers Grant

    • Thanks Grant. It is hard work, but precious.

      Both Wade and Bengie are really feeling the cold. Butter definitely hard now!

      Enjoy Christmas with your family.

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