Picture: Our front door upon returning. From my facial expression you can tell it is bitter-sweet.
Well, we're back in San Francisco. My flight went smooth enough and before I knew it I was walking back through the door to our old apartment. Actually, first we had to tear down the caution tape that a friend of ours thought would be fun to put over our door, but after that we were inside. It was like walking through a time warp - one minute I'm wearing a short sleeve shirt made of linen and the next I am wearing a marino wool sweater. Did you hear me?! I said WOOL people! It is ichier than I remember.
But it is not all bad news. I took the longest shower imaginable and the water never ran out. Our bedroom didn't rock when a car drove by and we didn't need to worry about dragging anchor at night. I pulled a glass out of our cupboard and expected plastic, but it was honest to goodness real glass! And I filled it with an endless supply of cold water from our refrigerator, that I was able to leave open and not worry about letting all the cold air out. I toasted a bagel and I didn't even need to turn on a 12v to 120v inverter! And when it rained (which it seems to do a lot here) I didn't have to put our sofa cushions under the bimini since our living room has windows! Wow. What a way to live!
The best part, however, has been seeing our friends. On Saturday night a good friend hosted a "welcome home" party and we caught up with everyone all at once. I'll leave you with the text from that invite, which I am sure you will all find as amusing as we did:
"Elizabeth and Seth are BACK. Not satisfied with 'any old' honeymoon, they have been hiding out in a small hamlet in Northern CA concocting one of the most elaborate hoaxes since the Loch Ness Monster and the moon landing. They have spent hours photo-shopping themselves into exotic locations and writing fake blogs about sailing in Croatia and swimming with sea turtles. When not perpetuating their deceit, Seth has been repairing lawn mowers while Elizabeth sells homemade incense and friendship bracelets.
As friends, we've all gladly gone along with this ruse to humor them and it's only fitting to perform one last act of deceit and have a 'welcome home' party to give Seth a final venue to spin yarns about pirates and 20 foot seas and Elizabeth a chance to show off her spray tan."
It's good to be back!
Picture: Taking Elizabeth to the Airport (boat style).
It is all over folks. On January 5th I took Elizabeth and all her things to a taxi in Sydney, which then took her to the airport. Without her on the boat the trip officially seemed over, but in reality I still had another week to go.
As agreed with the new owner, I was going to help deliver the boat back to Sydney with him. So Mike flew into town on the 4th and we spent a week going through all the systems. We practiced docking, anchoring, sailing and spent a good deal of time completing a round of engine checks as I showed him how to change the oil, fuel filters and impellers and how to trouble shoot our particularly hateful generator. And here I thought I was never going to have to do that again! But it was fun showing Mike the boat as he is genuinely excited about buying her and I feel good knowing that Honeymoon is going to a good new home.
So on the 6th we departed Sydney with a light southerly helping our progress north. We were extremely lucky with the weather, which continued to stay light and we finished the whole trip with a single stop to refuel. Five days later we pulled into Manley, where the new owner will keep "his" boat.
I had been worried about the trip being a rough one, but in reality it was quite wonderful. Winds were light and following for most of the way. We played with the sails, hoisting our spinnaker at every chance. We grilled steaks, lamb chops, chicken breasts and swallowed it down with Australian wine and beer. The swell was small, so sleeping was comfortable. We also had dolphins, some pods with babies, swimming with the boat (see previous blog).
So with that, the trip is over. I took my final look at the boat yesterday and am now awaiting my flight tomorrow that will take me back to San Francisco. I'm looking forward to catching up with friends, seeing our old apartment and reuniting with Elizabeth, but life is never going to be the same without a boat. What a wonderful year it has been - but it's time. Time to go "home."
But stay tuned, there is more to come on the blog as we have to catch up with videos, pictures and a few more Top 10s and "how to's."
Picture: Dolphins swimming with "our" boat. Pictured here is Mike, the new owner of Honeymoon.
As usual, Australia doesn't disappoint. We have seen dolphins elsewhere in the world and never got tired of sitting in our bow pulpit seats watching them play with the wake of the boat, but in Australia they do everything bigger and better.
On our third night out from Sydney, Mike was on watch and I was about to go to bed when I noticed a green glow in the water. There was almost no wind, but when the boat would create a ripple in the water it would set off thousands of tiny bioluminescence, turning the dark water into a glowing froth. I had seen this event many times before, but it was not as pronounced. Rather than see a few glowing "fireflies," this was like sailing through a field of glow sticks. At the bow, the water looked like welding sparks as it hit our hulls, bouncing up onto the hull and then dripping green down the side and back into the glowing water. And then the dolphins arrived...
Normally we wouldn't be able to see much in the heart of darkness, but this time they were glowing from their disturbance through the water. It was so clear that we could easily make out the shape of the dolphins despite it being pitch dark. Their wake would stay alight for several seconds, leaving a streak of glowing green water behind them. It was a very magical moment - one of the best of our entire trip. Unfortunately it was too dark to get a good picture and I'm sorry that E missed it, but I'll never forget what it was like...