Today we are setting sails! At long last we have the green light from the medicos and are outta here, bound for The Prom then the Gippsland Lakes!
Wade is feeling reasonable after his brachytherapy. Although he gets exhausted really quickly and still needs to have an MRI and CT Scan at the end of April in Melbourne, we desperately needed to get away from the dock. And it is not just because we are tired of being in a marina. We are also quite concerned about the Coronavirus, since we are both at an increased risk with cancer and diabetes. So we have escaped, even though it means Wade will have to travel back to Melbourne from the Gippsland Lakes for the follow ups in a few weeks’ time. He will just hire a car to avoid public transport!
Preparations to go
During the past week we have managed to provision the boat as we would for a remote cruising trip – about six weeks worth of groceries. It has been an interesting exercise when supermarket shelves are stripped of basic products! It reminded me of shopping in Zambia many years ago when food shortages were common, long queues and fights over staples were a frequent occurrence and some people behaved badly! I never thought we’d witness this in Australia.
We have attended to last minute boat maintenance, such as affixing Hocus Pocus the lightning deflector to the top of the mast and cleaning our mainsail. It was badly stained by the red dust of multiple storms. Armed with a brush and soapy water we scrubbed away for a couple of hours – a serious upper body workout! It is not perfect but better than it was. And we have replaced the topping lift (the rope which raises the boom), after Wade noticed it was worn while up the mast.
We tend to keep ourselves busy with constant gear fixing on board, but it is nice to have hobbies that have nothing to do with boat repairs. And given we might be on our lonesome for a while, we have made a few purchases to make life afloat even more pleasant.
Our friends have a bit to answer for! Serene & Stephen in Healesville and Tam & Dee at Yarra’s Edge helped Chris reconnect with a life-long love of playing the piano. They made us realise we did not need to do without one on Anui… just get an electronic keyboard! Then there was a fantastic day with Greg & Ann at the Forgotten Trades Fair in Bendigo, one of the last public events that was held. The fair was a reminder that a craft project can be fun. We saw so many inspiring artisans! It might not be possible to bring a bulky lathe or floor loom on board, but a little pin loom is practical to make a throw, one square at a time. As an artist who follows our blog said: “Make art with whatever is at hand. It will be uplifting”. Janis, you are so right!
Our modular lounge came back last weekend: bright, soft, super comfy. Complete Reupholstery Services did a terrific job. They managed to do the work in three weeks, as well as pick up and deliver at the marina, which was an added challenge and first for them! Here are the photos of before-during-after the re-upholstery!
We are outta here!
Anui is better equipped than ever before for sailing, long term voyaging and creative pursuits. The beauty of living on a boat is that you can be self-sufficient for a few weeks and easily isolate yourselves, yet still be in contact with the outside world virtually. With solar panels for electricity, the desalinater for fresh water, phones and internet for communication, a fully provisioned pantry, and a variety of options to keep ourselves amused, we can readily and safely disappear for 6 to 8 weeks in the wilderness. For us it is critically important to avoid exposure to the virus. If we get it we are in trouble. Let’s hope we can dodge the bullet!
We trust you are keeping yourselves safe, hopeful and connected in these uncertain times. Be good, take care and keep your distance!