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I’m Excited

To a certain extent the weekend has been more of the same but we are slowing down a bit.

On Saturday Bert and Ingi popped by to say Hello / Goodbye. Just like when we’re out cruising we often say goodbye to people many times and sometimes never get to say goodbye. The former is always better. But as the French say, it’s always Au Revoir as we really hope to see our friends again in some future time and place.

We had another viewing in the afternoon. Seemed to go pretty well but there are so many factors for each party to consider we will have to let this play itself out as far as it goes, if indeed, it goes any further. One thing both Helen and I agreed on was the professionalism of our new broker was orders of magnitude better than the last.

In the evening we had drinks, nibbles and conversations with Jack & Jan from Anthem and Don and Marie from Freezing Rain. A lot of very interesting discussions were had including some about the devastating news unfolding surrounding the tragedy in Connecticut.

Sam visited us on Sunday. It was great to spend most of the day with him, chewing the cud, giving parental advice (hard to avoid), etc. With his work with Greenpeace getting more and more interesting and involved (he is now coaching the next batch of workers) and our random movements between here and Melbourne, we always wonder if each visit we have together may be our last in Australia. We had a nice walk together along the Esplanade to Wynnum and back treating ourselves to ice cream in the park on the way back. I have to be honest, I still find the 30c ice creams at MacDonalds the best.

This was a really good weekend. And there is still some excitement to share. Ben let me know that he has received notification that the Nexus 4 I ordered has been delivered to his office. Assuming he confirms physical delivery I can cancel my order here in Australia. Then all I have to do is wait two and a half months (argggghhhhh) until we meet up with Ben and his partner, Amy, in South Africa i. But getting to see Ben and Amy and giving them big hugs is what I’m really excited about.

Healthwise I still feel like I’m on an upward bounce from the last chemo. I have had a few bouts of extreme tiredness over the last few days. I think the sail we went on knocked a bit more out of me than I imagined but I look at this only in a positive light. Today we’re heading back to Melbourne where tomorrow we have an appointment with Michael MacManus at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Lot’s to talk about and hopefully we can take a few more steps towards building a bridge to the UK health services.


If you’ve read my previous blog you’ll know we were up to boat stuff yesterday. Helen did a great job on some cosmetic sealing as some of the seals around the boat were looking a little grubby. You have an idea of what I was up to. One thing I spent time on was testing the AIS transceiver. When we were out, about the only thing I was disappointed in was not seeing Dignity on When I got down to testing, I noticed that just in the harbor here there were seven vessels putting out an AIS position but only one showed on the website. I managed to get a quick positive test from Anthem who could see us loud and clear. The most likely reason is something to do with the port receiver here which is either not receiving and/or communicating positions of all the vessels out here. Oh well – no geeky fun to be had. At least I know the transponder works.

In the afternoon we had a visit from Peter Cronk who bought Lagoon 420 hull #26 around the same time we bought Dignity. We’ve been in touch with him over the last 7 years and met him for the first time yesterday. He was one of the folks giving Helen tremendous support while I was seriously ill. He’d even offered to sail the boat over from Fiji but was understandably glad he hadn’t. It was great to finally meet him and thank him in person for everything he’s done.

Shortly after Peter left, Ed and Cornelia from A Cappella arrived to take us out to dinner. We went back the nearby Chinese restaurant and had a very pleasant evening together.

Back to my rant from yesterday. Have I calmed down? Yes. Am I more sympathetic? No. Calling out faults that simply don’t exist is deceitful. Completely misidentifying parts of the boat is simply incompetent. Just one error like this implies the surveyor had, at best, a broken/faulty process which exposes everyone involved to harm. Bad, bad, bad.

What’s done is done. Moving forward we can learn some lessons. For our next trial we will have someone aboard who will make sure the surveyor points out all the faults they are going to list in their report and to make notes of each issue. If the surveyor later adds anything we simply won’t accept it. I’ve wasted too much time on this. If I were the previous potential buyers I would want my money back. If I were the surveyor I would be ashamed and either improving the way I work or looking for a different profession.

Back to the Marina

We had another lazy morning in before readying to depart the anchorage just before midday. The Jacksters did stop by as we had a bit more dive gear for them so another round of goodbyes were had.

The wind was in the high teens to low 20s and ahead of us so we were on a close haul all the way back. We put two reefs in the main and headsail as we knew we would be close to and indeed the apparent wind was occasionally as high as 30 knots though mainly in the low 20s. Again we were against the current as we left earlier than before and low tide was now nearly 3 hours later than before. Despite this we easily averaged over 7 knots over ground (over 8 through the water) and later were doing 8-9 knots over ground around low tide.

We passed west of Mud Island and then had to tack 12 times to sail into port. I loved it. Helen did too, sort of. After a while she wanted to motor in rather than keep tacking so she could clean the boat. I did not give in to this as this could well be our last sail and I was where I wanted to be.

In the end we made it back with time to spare. At the dock we were met by Niel from Attitude, Jan from Anthem, Cornelia from A Cappella and Don from Freezing rain who all stood by to help with lines. With 20 knot winds squeezing into the dock next to Attitude was a little challenging. I aborted early the first attempt and nailed it the second time. Piece of cake.

View 2012-12-12 Moreton Bay in a larger map

In the evening Sam came over. We went out for a buffet curry in Manly and were later joined by Rob from Bristol Rose who happened by by chance. We ended the evening walking with Sam to the railway station then returning to the boat when his train arrived.

Now we’re back in the marina and back connected is back to our admin. We have one or two viewings coming up this weekend so want to be ready for those.

For your entertainment here is a video taken by one of the brokers and some pics of our time in the bay.

YouTube Preview Image

Catching Up

Phew. A lot has happened over the last few days. Unfortunately it all coincided with the peak of my side effects from RT which has left me feeling pretty wiped out a lot of the time. So a combination of lack of time and lack of energy has delayed me blogging. Good news is I am feeling on the upswing and on a roll.

So a quick recap of what’s happened since last time.

Every day on the boat was filled with more work. Minor fixes, cleaning the boat/cupboards/surfaces/anything, head in bilges cleaning pump valves (to prevent water backfilling bilges), packing the last of our stuff to take to the UK, etc. Helen did far more than I as the Queensland heat and RT side effects would knock me out and I’d have to rest for a while. While not active I was often still busy setting up new brokers and the endless follow up on all the stuff going on in our lives right now. One of the things now behind us is the sale of the NJ rental property that all started just before we set sail in 2008. The whole thing has been a bit of a disaster financially but we’ve had some astounding help. If anyone is looking for a first class property manager in the Cranford area, contact us.

We did have some fun times too.

On Saturday we met up with Steve and Vickie from True Companions and Bert and Ingi from Boree. Steve and Vickie were interested in our lessons learned selling a boat here in Australia. Bert and Ingi have graciously agreed to keep an eye on Dignity while we’re out of Brisbane as they’re staying in the bay for some time. We all ended up going out for a Chinese meal together in the evening.

On Sunday Sam came over to pick up some of his stuff. We took him to his digs in Brisbane and then went out to watch the latest Bond movie. Afterwards we ate dinner together then sat chatting in the park by the South Bank. It all seemed familiar in a way to us and we wondered if it was the site of Expo ’88 which we visited when we were last in Australia nearly 25 years ago. Later research showed it was.

Monday was a bit frantic as we mistook our flight departure time for our leave the boat time. We realized this when waking up but had to cram a lot into the morning with 2-3 hours less than we’d planned for. In amongst all this we had the gas inspector round to certify our appliances. We are now fully certified – Yay.

Jack and Jan came over from Anthem to say goodbye. We were all quite sweaty as we were all working in the heat but it didn’t stop the hugs goodbye.

We returned our hire car and made it to the airport in good time arriving in Melbourne without delay. With good traffic we were back around 7pm local time in time to celebrate Russ’s birthday with their first BBQ of the summer.

Dignity, in a lot of ways, is now no longer our home. We still have a couple of options to return to her and take her out for a final sail. We haven’t done so, so far, due to lack of time mostly, but it would be nice to take the old girl out for a final spin sometime. We’ll see.

Back here in Melbourne life goes on. Yesterday I had a blood test to make sure I’m ok for the next chemo beating which starts midday today. The next two (and final two) sessions should be chemo lite. I imagine the treatment as rubbing down the gelcoat. We’re now on the final fine grained sandpaper hopefully leaving a nice smooth finish. Final MRI is now booked as our our final meetings with consultants from Monash and Peter Mac. The end, no sorry, the beginning of the rest of our lives is in sight.

Thanksgiving Weekend

Friday ended up a bit of a chore day. A lot of communications were required with the broker involved with the recent near sale. I am not yet ready to share the nature of these conversations as a little more time is needed to determine if it’s good or bad.

Friday evening we were joined by Sam. Helen had cleaned and packed the rest of his stuff as he has found a cheap and secure place in town. It was nice to spend time with him.

On Saturday we drove down to Trish and Rob’s home in Tumbulgum to join the crowd from Anthem, Inspiration Lady and A Cappella for a slightly delayed Thanksgiving Dinner complete with turkey, ham and all sorts of veg.

Trish and Rob are now CLODs (Cruisers Living On the Dirt). And what a fine piece of dirt they have. Set on 60 acres of land their home is idyllic. Much of the land is woodland with plenty of flower gardens. Their 11 year old home was built in a rustic style sitting on the hill with fine views across the valley.

We had our Thanksgiving dinner early afternoon and spent the evening chatting and playing cards. My swelling in my trachea and esophagus had become painful again so in the morning I tried half a dexamethasone tablet. I think it helped my symptoms but it certainly got me a bit euphoric. I chatted far too much. But at least I maxed every card hand I played. My side effects from the RT should peak soon and after then I can expect things to improve naturally.

The next day the other visitors left leaving Helen and I with Trish and Rob. I spent a few hours fixing our camera flash which had got jammed as a result of a recent accident. Their home felt like our home. We needed the escape.

Later, Rob and Trish took us around their property showing us many things not at first obvious. It was all very interesting and amazingly tranquil. It felt like walking around walking around private gardens / a private estate, which is unsurprising as that is what they’ve got.

After this we headed to the coast to where Rob spent time in his youth. A place called Fingle. We bought fish and chips and ate the at a small park by the ocean in the company of some of Australia’s amazing birds. We then walked along the beach and then along a path behind to where there was a rock formation aptly name the Giant’s Causeway.

Helen retired early in the evening leaving Trish, Rob and I chatting til late.

Despite intending to leave early in the morning, we eventually ended up heading back to Brisbane just before midday. We took a long way back to see the sights.

Back on the boat we finally got back in contact with the gas man who will be round tomorrow to bring our galley up to Ozzy standards. Communications with the broker resumed with mixed results.

This evening we had a left over turkey curry followed by a TV show. Great.