Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Bundaberg: arrived

         When I typed the heading for this, I missed a number and wrote ‘May 9, 3016’.  I made the correction; but I am struck that there will be such a day a thousand years from now, and I wonder what the world will be like then when we are all long forgotten.
         That is an aside.
         GANNET is tied to a dock, which she hasn’t been for almost two years.  People walk by, as they don’t when I am on a mooring.  I chat with the man on the boat beside me and with the one across.  While sitting in the cockpit I keep my music low, not wanting to impose my tastes on others.    Birds move about.  A heron skulks along the dock, climbs onto a bow line, stares down, decides to skulk on.  Two small sparrow like birds flit about the bow pulpit on the boat beside me.
         This was an odd passage.  A perfect, if hard offing, and then pleasant and too slow.  If you look at the tracking page you will see six hour dots way too close together last week.  Still, any passage to or from New Zealand that does not include a gale is a success.
         Upon reaching land I wanted a fresh water shower and a cold drink and fresh food, and I wanted to reconnect.
         I got a delightfully long shower.  A cold Heineken and good salt and pepper calamari, if not quite up to Duke of Marlborough standards.  But reconnecting is not so simple here.  The marina has at present no wi-fi, either free or paid.  Hopefully I will find an alternative tomorrow.  However I will very seldom be connected for the next 8,000 miles.  Perhaps again for a week in Cairns.  Certainly for a a few weeks in Darwin.  And that might be it until South Africa.
         GANNET is in disarray.  Neither harbor, nor passage mode.  I’ll sort that out, too, tomorrow.
         I am still feeling GANNET’s motion whenever I step onto the dock.
         I like being back in Australia.  This despite being charged almost $300 US for the agriculture inspection which consisted of a nice young woman asking me questions for a few minutes to which I replied, “No.”  The government is showing a big profit on this.  I’ve spend three or four years in Australia, longer than I’ve been in any country other than the USA and New Zealand.  The people are welcoming and the weather just now perfect.
         I am tired because of broken sleep the night before landfall; but there is a sense that I just sailed 1368 miles and didn’t really make a passage. 
         Yet it was in some ways seminal:  sheet to tiller self-steering, abandonment of Cape Horn, a farewell to New Zealand.
         From February 10, 1975:  Smile, fool, and sail on.
         I will next week.

        The photo, taken yesterday morning just as I entered the river, is courtesy of Patrick.  I thank him for permission to share it with you.  I was sailing then, but only seconds later the jib was furled and the Torqeedo on.