In Sydney during a one day stop-over on the way to Indonesia... Nicky had fun with this street artist making giant soap bubbles in Hyde Park. It will probably be our last visit to Sydney for quite a while. We tremendously enjoyed our time here, especially when we were here on Namani over Christmas and New Year. Glad we got to see Tab, Jez and their kids again this time. Until we meet again in Germany ;-)
12 - in Australia
...are small when compared to life on land. In four years and close to 30,000nm of cruising in some remote places aboard Namani, sunburn has probably been our biggest health hazard. Give us a day ashore on a playground in civilized Cairns, and Markus manages to fall off one of the contraptions and manages to break his collar bone... Luckily it's the left hand side and not too painful so it'll hopefully be just an inconvenience for a few weeks.
The picture on the left was taken by Cath Byrne when we made landfall in the Aeolian Islands as our first stop after leaving our home port on Sardinia in 2007. On the right you see us almost seven years later, off Fitzroy Island, near Cairns on the Australian East Coast, while doing some hand-over sailing last weekend with Janet, Namani's new owner. Nicky's feet do touch the deck on the right hand side picture....
Since we bought her in January 2006, we've had eight fantastic years with Namani, including four years of full-time cruising. Thank you Namani!
Back in August 2007 Namani was at her eastern most point in the Greek Aegean at about 25 degrees East. Now, at the end of our trip on Namani we're at our western most point, about 10nm north of Cairns at 145 degrees 43 minutes East. So Namani has made it almost exactly 2/3 around the globe (if measured by meridians crossed westwards, and not counting a few Atlantic crossings under Heinz, her previous owner).
Barring any major surprises this will be our last night at anchor aboard Namani. We had a nice 170nm sail from the Whitsundays up to here (Palm Islands, about 120nm south of Cairns). We'll start our last leg tomorrow (Wed, 30APR) morning and should make it into Cairns on Thursday. We're glad we got this little 'encore' by delivering Namani up the coast. After Thursday the packing will begin in earnest...
After our TC Ita episode in Pacific Creek, we stopped at Keppel Bay Marina in Rosslyn Bay for two nights to re-provision, do laundry, and get water and fuel. Then we were off again on 18APR, for an overnight sail to Scawfell Island in the Southern Cumberlands (the same island group that the Whitsundays belong to). From there we continued in day hops, first to Shaw Island, and then onto to Sawmill Bay on the the west side of Whitsunday Island, where we arrived last Tuesday (22APR; it's Saturday today).
While we were holed up in Pacific Creek, waiting for TC Ita to pass, I was playing around with the metadata (i.e. the timestamps, camera settings, etc. that are stored in image file) of the thousands of pictures we've taken along the way. Maybe there's a way to make these numbers tell some kind of a story - the 30,000ft view of our trip? The strange things you do when you're boat bound in a mangrove swamp for a week...
Time for a little update from aboard Namani... After our return from Tasmania, we sat out a few rainy days at the dock in Scarborough/Brisbane during which it seemed as if the special effects crew of the new "Noah" movie had taken command of the local weather. It did clear however with the arrival of April and we finally slipped our lines to start our delivery trip north on 01APR. After a three-day/360nm sail we're now anchored of Great Keppel Island, north of Gladstone on the Queensland coast.
Nicky writes about our recent visit to "the big city":
After such a long time in our marina on Namani, it was quite the change to go to this big bustling city. Brisbane is a very enjoyable city. You can go to many interesting museums, cross the river for free, and - important! - you can get delicious ice cream. We really enjoyed our day in Brisbane.