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Endings and beginnings

Posted by on October 25, 2011

Larissa had finished painting the shipping container, and what with the cold galvanization treatment and the welding up of and few rust spot and holes, we hope it’s going to be good for another five years. With that major effort complete, she was keen to be back on board and continue our cruise.

I am worried about money. We haven’t really got much. Our cruising kitty was depleted with our trip to the mainland and while we have enough to provision for the next leg, there’s no more after that. Time to get a job. I wanted to stay put and find one, Larissa wanted to make do, move back aboard and get moving. A skipper should always listen to the chief engineer…

Yesterday we moved all of our stuff out of my dear Dad’s home and back aboard ERIK.

It was a windy southwesterly day when we rowed out in a borrowed dinghy and brought the boat in on the lee side of the Dunalley jetty. We had some minor excitement tying up; Paccy, the local slip yard owner fell badly while giving us a hand, and put a nasty lump on his head. He seemed okay later on, but we worried about him nonetheless.

We had moved some stuff out by dinghy over the past few days, but we were both surprised at the amount of gear and food that needed to be put aboard. We got our meat cryvacced and frozen by John at the Bellerieve Meat Emporium again. I can recommend his services, it’s not expensive, the meat is good and he is conveniently close to the Bellerieve Yacht Club.

We used Dad’s car to bring the load down, and started packing it away. ERIK never ceases to amaze me with her capacity to swallow mountains of gear in her lockers. Then there was a return trip to retrieve a forgotten toy for Lachie (who was very upset at the thought of departing without it) and finally a teary goodbye to Dad, who has been our gracious and accommodating host for nearly a month.

We fell off the jetty assisted by the wind and went out a picked up the mooring agin. The new mooring strop was constructed as described here, and it works a treat. It makes picking up a mooring easy. The intention was to catch the 0700 tide this morning and sail the southerly up to Shelly Beach, outside Orford…. But last night, looking at the weather, we decided we would spend the day getting used to being back on board….


…so I was the only crew member to actually get dressed today, everybody else stayed in pajamas!

We will sail on the 0800 high tide and catch the last of the southerly weather up to Chinaman’s Bay on Maria Island before the northerly weather pattern sets in. The current plan is to stay there until the next high pressure system comes through on the weekend, and catch it’s leading southerlies up to Schouten Passage. If the southerlies persist, we’ll move on to Wineglass Bay and then St. Helens. If not, we’ll stay around Schouten Island until the next southerly wind pattern comes through.

That takes care of the cruising plans, but what are we going to do about money?

I have applied for eight or nine 3 month contract jobs, all on the mainland in either Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra or Perth. It’s going to be hard leaving the family and working elsewhere for that long, really hard. My eldest isn’t keen on the idea at all. The idea is that 3 months of good earnings will replenish the kitty, and allow us to afford a liferaft and a some sort of solution to the toilet. Pumping overboard doesn’t cut it further north, and we’ll either install a holding tank, a compact processing unit, or a composting system. Hopefully we can cruise for four to six months on three months of earnings, but we’ll see. I have to land one of these contracts first…

I feel like we are at a beginning and an ending. Getting to Dunalley was a bit like Chapter One of our cruising story. Our time here, with our trip to Nan’s 90th was Chapter Two. Now, with our cruise up the coast about to begin, the weather clearing up and yet this effort to get some money looming behind it all, it feels like Chapter Three is about to start.

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