You may have gathered that we’ve been land lubbers since my last blog post (almost a month ago… woops!), so this post’s subject is easy – where are we now? And, where have we been?
First of all, I have to reiterate the awesomeness of Sydney by water. We were able to live in and get to know many wonderful neighborhoods: Manly, Neutral Bay, Cammeray in Middle Harbour, Blackwattle and Rozelle Bays off Glebe, Drummoyne, and Balmain. I’d like to think that our knowledge of the city is quite comprehensive. Our love affair with Sydney could’ve lasted much longer, but the relationship soured just a touch when Hydroquest sold and we had to start paying for accommodation on land. Ouch!
We’d sent home most of our warm clothes, but we couldn’t imagine being so close to New Zealand, and not going over there. Who knows when we’ll be back in this part of the world…? Lucky for us, we have a whole network of cruising friends who spent the cyclone season in NZ. Early April seemed like the perfect opportunity to catch up with some of them before everyone sails back north.
If you’ve been paying ridiculously good attention to this blog, you may remember our friends Jean and Stephanie from Mexico (our last time together was Jan 2013 in Barra de Navidad, so we never did get to have that celebratory ‘crossing’ toast together in the SoPac!). Friends Lionel and Irene we got to know in Banderas Bay and over many hilarious games of Pictionary in French Polynesia, but we hadn’t seen them since Moorea.
In addition to enjoying the company aboard Le Letty and then Kiapa, the highlights of NZ were: in Bay of Islands, picking mussels off the rocks at low tide (and dodging the big swells as they crashed in) for Moules Frites. Continuing our fabric lessons with Stephanie (my arms were too sore after lesson #1 to progress much further). Going for a sail on Kiapa in Whangarei Bay and watching out for cute little penguins. And getting to know Auckland and family friends Phili and Mark, who hosted us for a few nights in Mission Bay.
New Zealand was short and sweet. Bali is hot and cheap. We’ve found excellent accommodation here including fast wifi and all you can eat a la carte breakfast. A tasty dinner for two can cost as little as $9 (including beers). A perfect running and surfing beach is close by, and the sunsets are always gorgeous.
Needless to say, Life After Boat is pretty good. We are relaxed. We are warm. We have no boat projects. We aren’t worried about dragging anchor. We don’t have to prepare to go to sea in x number of days. We have lots of time for work. Yes, life is good, but we are boat-less… We have to get used to travelling without our home. We can’t look forward to where she’ll take us next. We can’t explore the way we are used to. Sometimes those boat projects are actually quite satisfying. And being at sea can be quite pleasant. Can’t forget the feeling of sailing into a new land…
Hmm. We also have a lot of time for Yachtworld.