We are marking time at Lakes Entrance. No news yet about our permit to enter NSW. We have each applied for an exemption with the Quarantine Exemption Unit at the State Health Emergency Centre. This is in addition to the main request from NSW Maritime to grant a blanket exemption to live-aboard cruisers. We could lament bureaucracy holding us back, but we have done all we can, so we wait and hope common sense will soon prevail.
In any case we could not go even if we were allowed to with the East Coast Low lingering and more bad weather coming: Strong winds, big seas, rain – not our kind of conditions.
After six months of sailing inaction, we have well and truly run out of boat projects! Only one daily ritual: the clean up of the bird poop along the jetty. Wade is getting a bit desperate.
Lakes Entrance is quite a good place to wait. It is not as social as Paynesville where we knew lots of people, but a few yachty mates have come to visit. And there is no shortage of people gawking at the big blue cat, which can get a bit intrusive at times. Yet we rather like it here: handy for groceries, more protected in all weather, access to the beach and tentalisingly close to the Entrance/Exit! Even Bengie is used to her surroundings, taking morning walks on the jetty and pretending to chase the birds away, but quick to hop back on board if danger threatens, like a pigeon… yes she is a scaredy cat!
We are keeping our sanity by going on long walks every day. This week we are taking you on a few of our wanders!
The map shows the length of the Cunninghame Arm where Lakes Entrance is located, with walking tracks on both sides of the foreshore and two bridges across to the ocean beach. Anui is moored about a third of the way up the Arm (marked on the chart) so depending on our mood and the conditions, we have several circuit walks in different directions including along the North Arm and the Narrows. So boots on, rug up and let’s go!
And then there is the time spent comfortably inside Anui. This extended period in the Gippsland Lakes has been a good test of our boat’s suitability for long term life afloat. There is not a day when we don’t look around our home and say ‘how on earth did we manage to end up with this?” Very lucky indeed!
Nearly two weeks after Papa’s death and a few days after his burial in Normandy with Mum, the waves of sorrow are easing somewhat and the pain is giving way to relief. We have our chats as if he was still alive; he manifests himself at any time of the day… or night. Playing the piano, walking on the beach, watching sunrises or sunsets seem to be opportune times to say “bonjour”!
Be patient. Be careful. Be grateful… it could be a hell of a lot worse!