Living aboard, post-desert
16 September 2013 | Kings Pier Marina, Hobart
Since arriving back from our privileged contact with indigenous people at Engawala, in the red desert heat and heart of Australia, we have settled in a unique location - we 're living aboard dear old Bluebottle, in berth 38, Kings Pier Marina, one street away from a main artery of the Hobart CBD, Davey Street.
A 5-minute walk to the GPO and Elizabeth Mall, electricity and a parking spot included in the rent, we have a prime spot. Friends, family drop by and we have a new little 2000 Suzuki Baleno (only 52,000 Km on the clock!) to buzz around in, which we bought the first week back, while staying with my son Dom.
The plan is to buy a new mainsail, renew some of the running rigging, repair the boat where it needs it, varnish and clean and generally refurbish, refit and refresh her with the intention of S-E-L-L-I-N-G (whisper it so she doesn't hear). But first, one more cruise!
New Caledonia is French and we loved the French islands and their way of welcoming the sailor. We sailed right by it as we did the final Pacific passage from Vanuatu to Australia, with Kez and Quent aboard, and The Isle du Pines is famous for its beauty, I'm told. So, next winter we hope to be sailing north, in a rekitted Bluebottle! With crew! My brother Neil has said we would come, and perhaps my friend Ward too.
I've let my hair and beard grow long while waiting for the next adventure, hunkered down in a Tassie winter with the wood-fire glowing, reading books about Yoganada and Ramina and Billy Connolly (some of my gurus). We do our peaceful spiritual practice for an hour or two every morning. Yesterday I sat in the midst of Adrienne's family - children and grandchildren - with attendant partners/parents and friends - while everyone ate and chattered away sitting on blankets, while distant families picnicked and threw frizbies, in the beautiful botanical gardens. The afternoon sun held the blossoming tree, the lawns and the old brick wall - built to warm the plants (with fireplaces built in, too) on cold evenings. Looking out past all this to the river, and seeing it all at once - a peace slowly insinuated itself into everything. I'm still feeling it.
Photo: Floating berth, Kings Pier Marina