Time to Set Sails

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!

Outta here!

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.

Boredom busters

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!

Comfort Plus

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!

32 thoughts on “Time to Set Sails

    • Thanks John… after four months in port it is a great sensation to have the wind in our sails and feel the movement of the boat. We so missed that!

  1. Terrific! ‘Was about to send you a text to see if you’d got the all clear. Be good, be safe and look after each other. xx

    • Hi Trish – yes we extricated ourselves from the marina pen last night and motored off to Williamstown. We are sailing towards Indented Head for today: a short sail for starters. Wade was talking about a 140 nm run and I said a flat no! He gets super tired but thinks he is still Superman! It is so nice to be sailing again though!

  2. I believe your idea of being away for awhile all the coronavirus is spreading is a good one. Just keep in touch with your friends.
    May G-d keep you always safe and sound, where you go and always.
    Take care, my friends. 🙂

    • Thanks HJ. We will remain in touch with our friends and family as always. Staying close to the coast! We will miss the physical contact, but that is no different to anybody else in the world as a result of the pandemic.
      We are lucky we are used to living a self-sufficient and at times isolated life as it is kind of normal to us. We know it will be more difficult for most people to adapt though to these drastic changes. You take good care too.

  3. Hello Chris and Wade, Lovely to read your news. The sun is shining here, and I hope it is shining on you too as you make your way towards the heads. All the very best, from Mary and Mic

    • Hi Mary & Mic – thanks for your good wishes. Just a short run today to Indented Head while the wind is westerly. We will get out through the Heads tomorrow morning with the SW. Good to blow the cobwebs out!

  4. Nice set of keys Chris, have been known to bash out a tune or 2 myself, even have one of our spare cabins set up as the music room. I’m glad that things are on the mend and that you have wind in your sails. Have a safe trip to the lakes..😎

    • Hey Rusty! It is good to be able to play again! Should have done this ages ago… a music room on your cat -that’s luxury. No set up and pack up!
      So good to be out of the marina! We had a great sail to the other side of the bay… out through the Heads tomorrow. Wade is a bit exhausted, so we need to take it easy.

  5. So pleased you have made the break from the marina. May catch up with you at Paynesville.
    By the way, I love the fender covers shown on the top photo in this blog.
    Happy sailing !

  6. Glad to hear you’re on your way. We’re doing a short cruise exploring Westernport. Apparently there are lots of fish here but we’re not having too much impact on their numbers!

    • Hiya Ian & Wendie! Planning to be at Cleeland Bight tomorrow evening. We have always been environmental fishers too… we don’t take much at all 😆

    • Oh Sue it felt so good to motor away from the marina last night, but the best was raising the sails this morning and taking off- doing 10+ knots. We so missed the wind in the sails and the motion of the boat! Even Bengie was excited, running around like a crazy cat, with big bright eyes and funny loud meows! We are anchored at Indented Head for the night… only a short sail today. We will get out through the Heads tomorrow morning and head towards Phillip Island then the Prom.

    • Hi Phil – we are in a gilded lockup on Anui, better than most we think, although we suspect we will spend Winter in Victoria as they are closing down the state borders!

      • I would go north to Warmer weather. No one is going to stop you sailing across borders or asking where you are from at the Seventeen Seventy general store. Plus you can always claim safe haven due to weather.

      • We just want to see what’s going to develop. They are turning people back at State borders and we do need to re-provision ashore with the dinghy, which is when it is most obvious you are from interstate. Patrols are happening!

        We also need to see what the medicos want Wade go do, so we are in limbo at the moment. Things will become clearer in a couple of weeks. Take care Phil.

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