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