Not Leaving Yet!

When you live on a boat like Anui for the long term, you experience both joys and woes, and these all come in waves. The boat can be your liberator or your jailer!

You get periods of bliss when your lifestyle decisions are vindicated and you can’t believe how lucky you are to have this ship, these incredible adventures, this magical way to spend your days. But you also live through the flip side: times of frustration often linked to gear or weather issues, the challenge of looking after your health through an itinerant life and the sadness of being separated from the people you care for. Everything is more intense in a way when you live aboard. The highs are really high and the lows are… well, really miserable.

There is no prize for guessing was sort of wave we have been riding off late! This has been the longest period we have been stuck in one place with gear and medical issues to deal with since starting our full time cruising life. It is just as well we have a good ‘memory bank’, because we need that to ride these less than satisfying times. We had a few wins on the gear front, but sadly not on the medical front and will be staying at Yarra’s Edge for about another month!

Health Update

One of the main reasons for coming to Melbourne was for us to see our respective specialists and go through the all important health checks. We had hoped we could get away with on-going supervision, but this is not the case unfortunately, at least not for Wade. Chris’s results were not ideal but acceptable. Type I diabetes never gets better and thus insulin doses keep increasing. You manage through declining energy and fitness. It is a mental as well as a physical game.

Wade’s biopsy shows his prostate cancer has developed and it is now time to take action. He will undergo Brachytherapy which involves small radioactive seeds being implanted into the prostate. It is disappointing but not unexpected and we both feel it is best to deal with this immediately. Wade now jokingly announces he will soon be known as “Chernobyl Dick”. You gotta see the funny side of things!

Gear Update

It is with great relief that we can at last tell you about our wins on the boat maintenance front. It has been a roller coaster and the problems took a long time to get diagnosed and resolved.

Our NKE system is finally working thanks to Steve Cody’s perseverance at Melbourne Marine Electronics and liaison with NKE in France. Where we thought that the issue was the compatibility of the old and new NKE gear, that was never the case. In the end we had two individual problems: one was our gyro compass which was out by 20 degrees, got adjusted and everything worked well for a few hours! Then for reasons best known to a bloke called Murphy, the auto pilot computer shorted out. The fault in the black box was repairable, but would have required shipment to France. Steve was able to locate a secondhand unused NKE gyro pilot in Australia, and given the age of our faulty pilot we opted to purchase that unit. Sometimes you grin and bear it, spend the money and move on. On Monday evening, we went out for our last and successful sea trial. The gear was fitted, calibrated, tested. It worked properly and we came back to Yarra’s Edge happy.

The NKE and Time Zero instruments are working!
Going out for the last sea trial!
Successful sea trial – we are going back to port!
Giving way to the Spirit

And we have purchased two new folding propellers and their adapter, not just one prop to replace the one we lost. These will be installed next time the boat is hauled out for maintenance. After 18 years of service the advice from prop specialist Terry Graham at Sea Hawk is that we should replace them. Most folding props don’t last that long according to him. It was good to get his observations and recommendation. Even though we suspect the one that fell off had not been fitted properly, both props are due to be changed. Getting into a fight with the mechanics is therefore pointless. Another case of grin and bear it.

Staying at Yarra’s Edge

Our time at Yarra’s Edge has been very social and enjoyable until now, with lots of visitors coming to see us. It has been great fun catching up with friends and family. It has also been a delight for night photography. It is a very rare treat to be able to experiment with shooting long exposures from Anui’s deck or cockpit – something reserved for totally still nights!

The Bolte Bridge from the deck!
A rare long exposure shot taken from the cockpit!
Stormy night – shot from the pontoon

There will be more opportunities for night and long exposure photography now that we are staying at the Marina longer. We have left the public jetty and are now inside locked gates. We have obtained a berth, which will give us a little more security, and more protection from the wakes of passing boats. Here is a shot kindly taken by Tam & Dee, catamaran sailers who live in one of the towers overlooking the Docklands. You can see Anui in the Yarra River and the berth we have now moved to (the triangular one in the bottom left corner of the image).

22 thoughts on “Not Leaving Yet!

  1. Gosh, we feel your sadness Chris & Wade, or should that be Chernobyl dick …. amazing you can laugh with so much going on Wade, spoken like a true Aussie mate!
    We’re hoping for a good prognosis some time in the future. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  2. Bugger on the health front, relief on the gear stuff. We’ve hitched up the land yacht and headed to South Aus to visit some wineries and beach’s. Stay safe..

    • Our thoughts exactly, Rusty! We celebrated on Monday night and were a bit flattened on Tuesday morning! But we will be OK.
      Enjoy South Australia – Should be a nice change for you.

  3. Sorry to hear about the Prostate cancer. I went through laser surgery to remove most of my prostate a year or so ago and it was great, afterwards… So I have some idea of what you will be up against. Great to have caught it early, and from what I understand, the results of this kind of treatment are generally very successful. I had a mate in the UK who had exactly the same procedure and he is cancer free now. Best of luck with this. Between the two of you, and boat issues, you have been through the mill lately. I can’t believe your attitude over the missing prop. I would have been frothing at the mouth, but I think your attitude of letting it lie is probably better for your health!! 🙂 Great to see you two still positive, and I love your honest, warts and all blog. Keep it up!

    • Hi Craig – thanks for your support. It has been hard yakka. With Wade’s treatment we have chosen the quickest, least intrusive option. We are hoping for a cure.

      With the prop, we have to be fair. We were pushing uphill with 20 years old gear realistically. But trust us, we were fuming and unimpressed. I doubt that mechanic will be the one to install the two new props!

  4. Hope all goes better for both of you. I have 2 daughters with Type 1 – partly thanks to my Mother. One has an insulin pump, the other not interested. My ‘x’ has been down Wade’s path over the last 13 yrs, so he can look forward to many yrs with care. Cheers Caroline

    • Hi Caroline – With 1 in 5 guys who get prostate cancer and an increase in the number of instances of late onset Type I we are not alone! Fortunately medical advances have come a long way. But yes, treatment and supervision for life for both of us… We still enjoy the lifestyle we choose which is the main thing.

  5. Sorry to hear about your health problems. Love the pics though. That triangular mooring looks tricky to move into?
    All the best

    • Hey Phil – Yarra’s Edge is pretty spectacular at night; might as well enjoy it!
      So when are you coming to visit your cancerous friend? Ah ah! The Townsville to Cairns and beyond looks good!

      • Not sure when I can come over next, but if you are looking for someone to help out sailing a leg or two or three and you are stuck, I could try to do some negotiating leave here but would need plenty of advanced notice. I hope you finally sort out the health issues and get back out in the wide blue.

      • Health issues will all be good. Just a matter of time. We don’t need a hand with the boat. When Chris goes back to France we will sort something out locally. But we’d love to see you once all the drama is over. You are always welcome.

  6. Thinking of you both! Yikes to the triangle berth – we had the slightly bigger one in the right hand bottom corner.

    • Thanks Trish! We managed to get in OK. We need a bit more practice to look like pros, however we had a plan, executed it, and although it took a bit more time than should have, we did not hit anything, and are in, so hey: all good! She is a big boat!

  7. Maybe with your long stay in Melbourne you can get away for a few days, hire a car and go bushwalking, for something different. Good for the mind and health. Thinking of you both.

  8. How sensible Up here it is flooding with huge seas and rain for another week. Just to let you know that Frank and I are moving to “Cleveland Gardens” Assisted living next Tuesday. We will have a small 1 bedroom, kitchen, lounge & bathroom and every meal except breakfast.

    • Yes in many ways we are lucky to be in Melbourne escaping the worst of the weather.

      Your move to assisted living is a good decision. We know it will be sad to leave your home, but you will be better supported and will meet other residents for company. My Dad came to the same decision and is safer for it. Take care Pam and Frank. We will come and visit you on our way north.

  9. Very best of luck re health issues Wade and Chris and best wishes for a much happier remainder of the year and for the years to come. Maybe this unplanned break will give you both time to reminisce and absorb energy and health from all the memories and beautiful scenery and colours and wildlife you have shared on your blog. Thanks too for sharing the more serious aspects of cruising life, a reminder that the unexpected may happen at any time without too much warning.

    • Hello Lindy – we are big believers in sharing the reality of life on board, the good and the not so good. The start of 2020 is tough, but we will live through it with even stronger resolve to enjoy life. When are you planning to head off?

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