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Tests Passed

Our days continue to be buried in things to do but we’re making progress.

On the insurance front we have ‘over-progressed’. No funds were received on Thursday so I let the insurer know asking them at the same time how much they’d sent. Being in Europe they came back that night saying they’d sent an amount over twice what I was expecting. This was a surprise. At some point this would have to be corrected but I thought it would be better to receive the money then figure out how much to send back. On Friday we received an amount somewhere between what we were expecting and what they said they’d sent. With cash in the bank I let the insurance company know I was now confused and put it back in their hands to explain. I have since started to make the final payments to the suppliers who’ve finished their work.

There’s still a few things being worked out with Dignity and the things we need to do to complete the sale keeping everyone as happy as possible. It’s a big moment for everyone. I remember back to our own moving aboard Dignity in 2008 and the stresses involved. What really stands out in my memory from those days was the unconditional support we received from folks around us. Our friends Jim and Anne on Bees Knees and Tom and Pat on Lone Star are strong in my memories. There’s a saying within the cruising community (and outside) that you simply pay it forward. I really hope we will have a chance of paying it forward, in a small way, to the buyers and get them started on their own dream.

This concept of paying it forward figures large in my mind at the moment. On such a vastly important matter, my life no less, we have received such unconditional support from those around us. There is no adequate way to ‘pay’ this back. I wonder how, perhaps, I can pay forward this gift.

On Friday I had a comprehensive blood test performed. It had been due on Monday but the hospital had agreed to bring it forward to Friday so we could know before the weekend if I was fit to travel to Brisbane next week. One of the possible complications was a collapse in my blood cell counts which was why I went through the harvest. It was really heartening that the hospital was not only willing to adjust the timetable to meet our needs but even put a priority on analyzing the blood simply to allow us to book our tickets. In the afternoon, one of the oncology doctors called me up and simply said, “Go and buy your tickets, everything looks good.” Flights are now booked and a car rented.

On Friday evening we went into Melbourne to meet our New Zealand friends, Lew and Tracey, who serious blog readers may recall us meeting early 2011 on the Otago Rail Trail. They’re over here on holiday and for Dr. Lew to attend a medical conference. They’re both very close to our hearts as, among other things, they also offered to help out when I first became ill.

We drove into Melbourne and walked around the South Bank for a while before heading to their hotel. We shared a couple of bottles of bubbly in their hotel room before going out into the city to eat. We ended up back in their room for tea and more chat and left after 11pm. It was really, really good to see them again and catch up with our lives. Good news is we’re meeting them again tomorrow.

On the way home Helen, being the DD for the night, had a first ever experience. She was breathalyzed. She also passed her test.

This morning we had the delight of going to see Roz, Sarah and Russ’s daughter, playing netball for her club. She scored three goals herself and, more importantly, really played a solid team game often passing the ball to others than taking more challenging shots herself. Her team won which made it all the better.

It was really special for us to be involved with the family in this way. Even if it was a bit chilly.

Projects (AIS & SSB)

Yesterday I managed to install the AIS unit I brought along. I found a decent place to mount the VHF antenna. Connections were straight forward but (I guess no surprises) it didn’t work first time. So began the task of upgrading the software on my chartplotter. This took a few iterations and although I’ve benefited from being up to date, there was no progress with the AIS. I then tried hooking the AIS to my PC. Fortunately I had a USB to serial adapter but no drivers nor, as it turns out, hyperterminal for Vista. With these minor issues addressed I was able to connect and see AIS strings being sent. Good. In theory I should have been able to connect the units at 38400 baud but I tried bringing it down to 4800. This worked. The AIS install still requires some tidying up which will need a few extra bits and pieces but it was nice to see the ship info on the chartplotter.

I also made some progress with the SSB install. With Helen’s helped we fished most of the distance between the tuner and the main unit. I’ve also run the anternna wire out to the transom compartment ready to be run outside to the antenna. Today I reckon we should be able to get things hooked up and begin testing. I hope to finally get my email over short wave going. The last time this was working was during our previous life in Berkeley Heights NJ.

During the day we took a break and met Des and Sue (from Desue) at a local hotel where there was an art exhibition. I mainly talked boat stuff with Des while the rest wondered around.

Last night we had Pat, Tom, Ann and Jim over again to say goodbye to Pat & Tom. They’re finally leaving today. We’ll probably see them around but this is (they reckon) their last one here before heading off for the Virgins. Perhaps we’ll again meet up down the islands.

A night to remember

Thanksgiving 2008 will be one to remember. Pat, Tom, Jim and Anne all showed up around 3pm with homemade food and wine. Pat and Tom brought a family recipe corn bread and green bean dish. Jim and Anne brought pumpkin pie and another desert they called gunge but tasted far from it. They also brought some sweat potatoes. We supplied the turkey (cooked in the new Magma grill) and mashed potato/stuffing combo. All the food was simply delicious. The company was better. The festivities went on until late in the night (cruiser time) with everyone retiring at 8:30pm. Yes – that is late for us water folks.

Today we’ve prepped for our forthcoming travels. We’ve done our shopping and I’ve checked out of customs. We’re now flying the yellow Q flag which means we can’t go ashore until we’ve checked in somewhere. Tomorrow we’re planning to leave at first light and head for St Kitts with a possible stop at Statia if we need to cut the trip short.

Tonight is curry night. We have some leftover turkey so it’s going to be turkey curry. No wine or beer tonight due to long trip tomorrow and we want to minimize possibility of misery on the journey.

Here are some pics of recent days.

Happy Thanksgiving

To all that celebrate Thanksgiving our wishes go out to you. Have a great time with your families.

We’re going to move back into the Lagoon under the 8:15 bridge opening then do some shopping. This afternoon we’re having Pat and Tom from s/v Lone Star and Jim and Anne from s/v Bees Knees over for a pot luck Thanksgiving dinner. Should be nice.

Tomorrow we’ll head back out of the Lagoon, do our final provisions for a while, check out at the port and prepare for a dawn departure on Saturday for St Kitts.


The bond movie was a lot of fun.  We had agreed to go with Pat and Tom from s/v Lone Star and were joined by Jim, Anne, Lauren from s/v Bees Knees.  We convoyed over in three dinghies to the other side of the Lagoon, had a beer then watched the movie.  In our discussions we approached the idea of Thankgiving.  The upshot is that we’ll be hosting a pot luck dinner aboard Dignity on Thursday for all of the movie goers.  We’ve tried to get in contact with Desue to invite Des and Sue over but had no success yet.

This means we won’t be heading to St Barts tomorrow but we are keen on sailing so we’ll probably head to Grand Case (uphill from here), do some snorkeling then stay the night before returning to the Lagoon on Wednesday.

Today is my mother’s birthday.  We’ll be going out for dinner tonight – location as yet to be determined.