Franco-Australian Series – Week 4

Momentous fourth week for both of us! We have reached our respective goals.

In Australia

Anui spent a few days at Phillip Island, sheltering from strong Westerlies. It was a good opportunity to attend to a few jobs: proper fix of the lazy jacks, and tightening of the nets which were a bit saggy, particularly the port side one.

Batten re-repositioned and net about to be re-laced to the edge of the hull

But finally on Monday, Wade and Hayden were able to tackle the last leg of the trip to Port Phillip Bay and Melbourne. Anui arrived at its destination in the afternoon of 16th December. She is moored at The Anchorage, a small and affordable marina at Williamstown.

They can’t hide with Marine Traffic!

It was a bit nerve wracking getting in there given that only one engine prop was working! But when our beautiful boat turned up, there were lots of interested onlookers and willing helpers to catch her lines.

She is a big boat, sticking a long way out of her pen!

Initially Wade thought the problem was the sail drive but the marine mechanic in Brisbane suggested he should dive under there and check he still had a prop! It turned out the prop had fallen off and a new one needs to be put in! Bloody hell, always something else to worry about! Hopefully it will be reasonably straight forward to do. Wade reckons it happened in Eden! A fair way to go with only one prop working… which explained the odd behaviour under motor and the much bigger fuel consumption on the starboard engine!

The plan was for Wade to attend to medical matters this side of Christmas, but it won’t happen till much later unfortunately. So apart from dealing with the prop, he is in the process of installing new NKE navigation gear we ordered, catching up with friends, attending to a few business matters then having Christmas with his family. He has the lend of a car from one of his brothers, so will be able to get around and do a few errands. Hayden has gone back home to Narooma in New South Wales. Many, many thanks for the company and help. It would have been much tougher to go it alone.

In France

Mission accomplished: My Dad and I made the 800 km drive from Normandy to Toulouse over a couple of days, reaching our destination in the afternoon of Tuesday 17th.

As D Day grew closer for our departure from Normandy, it became harder and harder for Dad, like a heavy cloud looming over us. By the weekend he was extremely anxious of what was about to happen, looking haggard, lost, aching all over and wanting to sleep the time away. I felt hard-hearted, pushing him along caringly but irrevocably.

Last wander around Bernay in Normandy

Leaving his home was sad but the road trip surprisingly manageable. I had been dreading the departure and the drive south, not only given my Dad’s ill health but also because of the protests happening countrywide over retirement pensions reform. There is major strike action across the country affecting transport, schools, hospitals. But it all went quite smoothly; it was a relief to meet up with my sister though!

The next afternoon we moved Dad into the seniors’ residence which is close to where my sister lives. It has a really nice, high quality feel and it is our hope that Dad will adapt to his new surroundings. He will have independence, company if he chooses, medical support; his meals will be provided, he will be able to take part in daily activities, again if he chooses. It certainly will be safer and more enjoyable than an isolated life at home with no one to talk to or care for him. But the reality is that his health has deteriorated even under my watch so it is hard to tell how things will develop. I am spending time with him each day to help settle him, meet other residents and get his bearings, and of course there will be the festive season together. But he is struggling.

Things will now be a little less frustrating and less lonely for me. It is my intention to spend Christmas with my family, then head back to Australia at the very end of December.

Merry and safe Christmas to all.

20 thoughts on “Franco-Australian Series – Week 4

  1. Hi Chris, best wishes to you & Wade & big pats to Bengie for Christmas. Also best wishes towards your fathers health and move. Thank you too for sharing such beautiful photos from both sides of the world at such a challenging time. All the best from smokey Sydney. Lindy & Phil & Ella Bleu

    • Hi Lindy – thanks for the good wishes. We are through the worst now, but it is a rough time. Writing about it helps… like sharing the load. Merry Christmas to you and Phil and a pat for Ella Bleu.

  2. Hi, Chris, I imagine that you must be going through tough times now. Having your Dad in a delicate health condition also far from your partner and your home in Australia. I lost my parents years ago. Be strong, my friend and pray for him too.

  3. Hi Chris, I hope it all goes well with your dad. We are currently parked at the Anchorage, Leopard 40, almost next door, your boat is a monster, tell Wade to stop being shy and say hello..

    • Hi Ross! What a surprise… I will tell him! It is not like him to not visit! Mind you, he has had a fair bit on. Hope you will still be there when I get back. It would be nice to meet you in the flesh!

  4. Glad everything has gone well and wish you and Wade a very Happy Christmas. Barbara

  5. It has been so bitter sweet for you and your Dad but the reassurance that he is well looked after and close to Vero has to be good. I hope that this Christmas with your family will be memorable and enjoyable. I also wish Wade all the best for his Christmas and hope that nothing else goes wrong with Anui.

  6. Good to see your goals reached, in spite of all the mixed blessings. Happy Christmas Wade and Chris!

  7. Hi Chris
    Well done with the family moves – never easy times.
    I managed to squeeze in a surf at Phillip Island with Wade and Murray a few days ago – and recalled you took some photos last visit (which Wade suggested was quite a few years back).
    Fleur and I are hoping to cycle over to Williamstown and check out SV-Anui, maybe we should wait for your return.
    By coincidence my daughter Laura has a new French flat mate Lucy/ie? from Toulouse. She seems lots of fun and will join us for Christmas. Fleur and I are both taking French lessons so look forward to trying to converse……..
    Cheers & best wishes
    Craig Paton

    • Hi Craig – nice to get your comment. Would love to see you and Fleur at Williamstown! I will be back on the night of the 31st, so come over any time after that if you get a chance.

  8. Hi Wade, My brother in law had a prop fall of his sail drive. I happened immediately after relaunch from a boat yard at Mooloolaba. They had fitted the prop after an antifoul and hence accepted full liability for the replacement and re fit. Who did your job?
    Chris, I am going through the same process with my parents in NZ. At 95 & 96 its a struggle for all concerned. I know what you are having to deal with.

    • Thanks for the info on the prop Graham. We are hoping MMS at Boatworks will do the same. There are only two ways a prop can fall off: hitting something or not fitting it on properly. No trace of any damage from a hit, so it leaves the work the mechanics did. We intend to give them a ring once the cost of the new prop is confirmed and we know we have to haul out again. Let’s hope they do the right thing but who knows what they will say!
      As for moving an elderly and terminally ill parent, yes it is tough, and even more when they live far away as you well know. Take care of yourself and hope to meet up with you in the new year somewhere.

  9. Dear Wade and Chris, Have not had enough time to read all your adventures but we just want to wish you both the most Christ-like Christmas ever. Loving you both . From us both Pam g

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