Becoming Mrs Argos

What stared out as a family sailing adventure around Australia has changed somewhat! Now its mum and the kids (now aged 17 and almost 15) working it out for themselves while cruising the Queensland coast!

24 November 2016
19 August 2016
03 August 2016
21 June 2016
25 April 2016
09 February 2016
07 December 2015
25 August 2015 | South Stradbroke Island
10 August 2015
06 July 2015
04 May 2015
24 April 2015
11 April 2015 | Southport
01 April 2015 | Southport

Six Months!

24 November 2016
Last week marked six months since the day I was galavanting around on deck, trying to save a bucket that had fallen overboard, lost my footing and fell…….leading to the whole broken leg catastrophe.

So much has happened in that six months, and most of it has been about me recovering!

I remember someone saying that once I was ‘healed’ I would need to learn to walk again and I kind of dismissed it as a euphemism for the hobbling around stage. But the reality is, once the wound was healed, and the bone knitted back together, I was only at the start of the process - learning to walk like a normal person also took time - and of course mixed in with all that was learning to climb and balance and get around on the boat, and in the dinghi's - things that made returning to my every-day life manageable.

Well six months later and I am pretty much back to normal. I do get fatigued. I can’t walk a long way yet and the idea of going ‘for a walk’ still feels a bit absurd - it's enough of a challenge to do all the walking I MUST do - I’m not yet ready for ‘recreational walking’! And there is still quite a bit of pain - mostly around the injury - deep inside my leg, where muscles and tendons were repaired too - which is worse if I kneel or overstretch and twist around awkwardly, which of course sometimes happens. But on the whole things are pretty good. Which means things are happening on board - many things.

I have been working on the deck. I finally finished the job I had begun the day I broke my leg - cleaning up the deck up near the bow-sprit. It only took six months but I got there in the end! There is need for a quite a bit more work on deck - some areas are showing a bit of wear and tear. I am not happy with how the deck paint I tried out last year has fared - it's not washed up well and has worn badly. So I shall reconsider what I use next time around. For now though I intend to just repair the patches that need it rather than work on the entire job.

I have been doing a lot of sewing - redesigning the back awning, and looking to make it more stable and less ‘flappy’ so that it can remain up when the wind picks up rather than needing to be pulled down each time a storm front approaches.

It is not quite finished, and can’t be finished until some eyelet grommets I ran out of arrive from the US (why is so much on the boat imperial and hard to get in Australia!!!!???), but despite that it is already feeling a lot better up there with less canvas whipping and flapping around. It's always been a great place to spend time -with seating for 6 or more comfortably, but showing signs of wear and tear and really needing a breath of fresh air! Not literally!

As soon as the awning is finished I will be sewing new seat covers, and then moving on to the bright work which is aging and needing some serious work. The spindles are in need of replacing, which is going to be a big job, working out how to get them all off, and then getting new wood turned and then putting it all back together. There may be some ‘remodeling’ involved while I have it all apart, but that’s not yet a certainty. I have had conflicting advice about how I treat the wood and am a little frustrated that sometimes in the past I have not been given good advice, creating an immediate good appearance at the cost of long term wood-health. But that’s life and we have to operate on the best advice we have at the time, and then perhaps when we know better, do better.

Three months away from the boat and the best part of six months incapacitated has left a lot to be done, but I remind myself that it's just like eating an elephant - you just take it slowly - one bite at a time.

Meanwhile on the home front there have been other changes. Erina is now land based, having moved into a flat with her sweetheart - though they are just a stone’s throw away in Southport and we still see heaps of her. It's different with just Liam and myself on board - but we are doing quite fine! And of course Liam is so great at doing all manner of boat jobs these days.

Life for Mrs Argos isn’t all about maintenance and running repairs, it's also great to be back on board and back to learning to handle my boat. At first it was a challenge just to stand at the wheel and help the kids with moving her, but gradually I have been able to manage more and more.

Recently I have had some little ‘adventures’ of moving into tighter, more crowded anchorages, moving around inside them and repositioning - something I have ever actually done before. I still hear that voice inside my head saying how hard Argos is to move, how she has a mind of her own, how tricky this is going to be, but I am finding that less and less troubling to me as I figure out how maneuverable she really is!

So we have become residents (albeit moving in and out weekly) of ‘Bums Bay’ proper! Yes, no more anchoring outside in the turbulent waters of the outer anchorage , where you are rocked all day and night by wash and wake from every vessel heading up the Broadwater, and jostled around all day by jet skis, fishing boats etc coming and going from the jetty. No these days we have discovered the bliss that IS the inner sanctuary of the bay! We have been able to open cupboards without having to hold them shut hastily if wake hits us, leave things draining overnight on the sink, and all sorts of teeny little things that used to not bother me but colour my daily life. It's peaceful. Calm. Serene. I hadn’t realised how peaceful, calm and serene it could be!

We have even mostly anchored near the beach and it's just lovely to look out the stern window in the morning when I get up and see the beach of Moondewarra spit right there, and to watch the lights of Southport as I get ready for bed at night.

We did have a great adventure the other day when we came back into the bay after a day out, and had trouble setting the anchor. A LOT OF TROUBLE. It was so perplexing. And it was so calm - it seemed crazy that it was so hard. We just couldn’t fathom it, or set it! It took Liam and I seven or eight attempts, by which time it had grown dark and in the end Kym from Artful Dodger hopped on board and gave us some wisdom, and then we held. After some thinking, talking and tea I worked out that we had actually never anchored on such a calm day and that’s when the penny dropped. We are so used to the wind pulling us back as we lay out our chain, our technique didn’t allow for enough reverse movement when there was no wind. Consequently we must have been fouling our own anchor and preventing it from setting. So lesson learned - never take a calm day for granted!

And as well as these things we have been busy working on several writing projects. Just a couple of weeks ago, with the assistance of neighbouring boaties who have a media and publishing business, we were able to release a mindfulness app for iPhone and iPad to support people I work with through my abuse-recovery network. There has been some progress on a few articles and books that have long existed in my mind only and ‘Becoming Mrs Argos’ of course grows along with everything else.

There is rarely a dull moment on the water - and while we sometimes have frustrating times, I still wouldn’t live a more ordinary life for quids.
Vessel Name: Argos
Vessel Make/Model: Gaff Rig Schooner designed by Jay Benford, built by Jack Stolp
Hailing Port: Albany WA
Crew: Sue Parry-Jones, Erina and Liam Jones and Capt'n Jack Sparrow!
After starting out from Albany WA in July 2011, we have faced some big seas, tricky situations and serious storms. We have learned to sail and learned to love the life of the cruising sailor. [...]
In the years since we started Erina and Liam have become fine sailors. Liam is a keen knot man and has created a plethora of decorative rope finishes on board, as well as being skillful at any knot-work required on deck. Erina is the the master of the galley and cooks up the most incredible meals [...]
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Argos's Photos - Main
6 Photos
Created 1 February 2012
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Created 1 February 2012

Becoming Mrs Argos

Who: Sue Parry-Jones, Erina and Liam Jones and Capt'n Jack Sparrow!
Port: Albany WA