Friday, 4 April 2014

The end of this blog - At last !!

I decided some time ago to track each separate adventure on a different blog. This makes it easier for me as I can go to separate blogs when I want to refer to a particular adventure.   And I trust it also makes it easier for you when reading, because if I just put everything on a single blog, the archives would be enormous and it would be much more difficult to find what you wanted to read about.

As I said in the first post of this "Watching and Waiting" blog, it was written to fill in on all the happenings during 2013 while I sold Elsie, bought Troopie, and all the work I then did on Troopie to prepare her for the 2014 adventure.  This also included some of the trips we took, up to Bangkok, down to Melbourne, as well as half way round Australia in July / August.

It is now the 5th April, Troopie is half way across the Pacific Ocean en route to Seattle, and I am due to leave the Gold Coast on the 14th April to meet up with Troopie, and then, once Janet arrives on the 3rd May, we will set off north, through Vancouver Island and the Inside Passage(on ferries), before driving from Haines back up to Alaska. So this blog is now complete, and my next entry will be on and this blog will cover the adventures over the next 12 months or so as we travel from Alaska down to Ushuaia.   The blog covering my 2012 adventure to Alaska and the Arctic Circle in my little Lotus Elise ( is still there, and if you haven't read it yet, you may have some fun doing so if you settle down with a good mug of coffee, next to a warm fire, on a cold winters day !!  

And if you continue to follow our adventures over the coming months, and enjoy reading them, then I ask once again that you contact me either through the comments section, or by email direct (via my Profile on the right hand side) because it is short messages letting us know you are out there and reading that spurs me on !  It often takes 4 hours a night (dependent on internet speed) by the time the blog is written and the photos downloaded, so any support is VERY welcome, I can assure you !

Thanks for sharing the past 18 months, and I look forward to the next adventure, starting next week !!


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Thailand 1 13th - 16th February

Birthdays, puppies, tigers and elephants !!

I arrived in Bangkok from Brisbane on Feb 13th, in the evening.  Damien, Hannah and Poppie had flown over from Perth the day before and were going to babysit our house and Trooper while I was away.  Janet had flown up to Bangkok a week earlier to spend some time with Sarah - It was exactly a year since either of us had been up here to see her and Benn.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

0065 Christmas in Port

And for those of you who think that "in port" is referring to the drink, and we were in it, - WRONG !!   It is in Southport Yacht Club, the marina where Jamie and Suzie's yacht Solitaire (of Coast Guard fame - see previous entries !!) is currently moored.

Suzie and Jamie invited us down last night (21st Dec) to share a few (!!!) prawns with them, and a drink or three, while other boats that were lit up for Christmas paraded past us, and down to the Yacht Club restaurant, where they did a pirouette and then came back past us again.  We had the perfect position.

Anyway, I will write more, and caption the photos later - Just wanted to get the photos up for Suzie to see !!

Here :-

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Sailing to Gold Coast, Days 9 & 10

No sooner had I got back home than Jamie called me on Sunday evening to let me know the engine issue was sorted, and the weather was going to be just perfect for sailing the last leg to Surfers Paradise on Tuesday - Could I come back up to Mooloolaba on Monday evening for a 4.30 am departure Tuesday ?   I wanted to finish the journey, and Jamie is a good friend, so of course I said yes.  And with the 3 hour train journey from Surfers to Mooloolaba only cost $5.85 or so, it wasn't exactly a financial imposition. Neil who sailed with us last week had had to return home to Grafton for work, but Jamie had lined up Brady, a very experienced sailor, to join us (and make up for my old age and lack of sailing ability !!), so Brady and I caught the 4.30 train from Nerang, and set off north.  Conversation was easy because it turns out Brady likes cars almost as much as he likes sailing and racing yachts !!

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Sailing to Gold Coast, Days 7 & 8, Dec 6th

Friday 6th Dec    8 am the next morning and there was a diver at the dock with one of the Coast Guard officers, ready to go under Solitaire and sort out the rope issue.  After a quick check, and taking a few photos for report purposes (see attached photos that he took), he managed to free the rope, and reported that there was no apparent damage down there – Which was a big relief for Jamie.  Now we needed to find out what the engine problem was, and soon Jamie had lined up a mechanic through his sailing connections. We were able to shower in the Coast Guard offices which were right beside where we were docked, and that shower was BLISS  !!   Our last proper one had been  in Yeppoon  last Monday – 4 days ago !!!   Phew !!

Sailing to Gold Coast, Days 5 & 6, Dec 4th / 5th

Wed 4th Dec.  We were allowed  to sleep in this morning – woke up at 4.30 am for a 5 am departure !!!  Today was going to be another long haul down the coast with less than ideal winds and currents, but at least we had all slept like logs in a yacht that hardly moved in the calm waters of Pancake Creek.  Sailing out around the headland of Bustard Head (Captain Cook anchored here…), we passed the lighthouse which had
helped to guide us in the night before, and then the town of 1770. (Yes, that is its name !!)   While the weather was perfect and the seas flat, unfortunately the wind was not only minimal but also dead ahead, so we had to motorsail (engine plus main sail) down the coast at about 4 -5 knots.  This was not enough speed to get us to the shallows behind Fraser Island on the high tide, and also get us across the later Bar at Double Island Point, but fortunately the weather turned a little more favourable in the afternoon and we had some great sailing which helped us catch up some time. 

Sailing to Gold Coast Days 3 & 4. 2nd / 3rd Dec.

Mon 2nd Dec.   Everyone was up by 6 am (the others were up long before that, but I snoozed on….), and after showers etc, we went up to the marina for a really good breakfast of things like Eggs Benedict, and plotted our day.  Final decision was to fuel up after lunch, then head out to Keppel Island, and hope the weather would be good (and the wind blowing in the right direction) for us to head south the next day. Right now the weather looks good until Thursday or Friday, which should enable us to reach Bundaberg, and maybe even Fraser Island, by which time we will know more accurately what is happening weatherwise.  At present it doesn’t look good, in which case Neil would have to fly home (he has work next Monday) and Jamie and I would hang around until we get a weather window to head south to the Gold Coast.  But we will cross that bridge when we come to it.