Each morning, Frank & I sit down with the ‘List’!
Over breakfast, we discuss what we hope to achieve that day and how we can reduce the long list of chores that have been accumulating over the past few months. Many items are related to Frank’s retirement and the adjustment of our business affairs, plus paperwork and phone calls related to closing accounts and notifying people that we are leaving Australia.
There are still a number of important jobs on the yacht to complete too. Frank removed the starboard cabin window that had been leaking during the heavy rainstorms we had experienced recently, and found that the polycarbonate had cracked badly in one area- we believe as a result of the collision SE2 received from a 50ft yacht crashing into her in the 2009 tsunami. ( see the story on- Our yacht ‘Stars End 2′)
It became apparent that we would be well advised to replace the windows on both sides of the yacht, so they are now ordered for next week. With the windows removed, this made it easy to re varnish the timber work on the inside ledges. Another example of a ‘small job’ ending up bigger than expected, as well as both time-consuming and expensive.
I have finished off the last of the sewing projects on board another job that become a lot bigger when our kindly donated & ancient Pfaff machine temperamentally caused Frank hours of troubleshooting. It appeared to be the plastic fabric that it disliked, but at least the sewing was finished & the machine is now safely stashed away in the aft cabin for the time being, I hope!
In my desire to write a daily journal whilst cruising, I have bought an application for my Mac laptop, so I am learning to navigate my way around that as well as everything else. I have tentatively wondered whether I could write a book about our adventures on board SE2, further down the track, and know that a detailed log will provide a good resource as well as provide memories to reflect on in future years.
We have been also been collecting more donations for taking to Vanuatu. Whilst we know we have restricted space and there are certain items considered more essential than others to provide immediate aid, we have a shed load of mixed ‘goodies’ that I have started to sort through with Isabelle and her girls from the yacht ‘Periclees’. I feel a need to mention a few examples of people’s exceptional kindness, although we are grateful for everything that has been offered.
My friend, Ann Maree & her family gave us a huge bag full of new school supplies, medical goods & toiletries amongst many bags full of amazingly generous donations. One of her workmates, Ellie, saw Ann Maree purchasing massive amounts of supplies in Coles and enquired what she was doing. When Ann Maree explained about our venture, she & her husband, Joe, turned up with a huge bag of linen & clothing and this large metal tool box that contains just about every hand tool that you could possibly want for rebuilding in a remote location. We were blown away, as these were treasured tools Joe had acquired over many years as an apprentice & tradesman.
The Austin family also donated bags and bags of neatly folded piles of sorted clothing & shoes, new items, plus toddler & maternity wear from Tammy that will be so appreciated by villagers who have lost so much.
Good friends, Anita & Pierre, are presently moving out of their home and on board their yacht, Xamala, so they have sent many generous gifts our way from tools and spear guns, sail & ropes, cooking & kitchen ware, clothing & shoes.
We have concerns as to how to pass on the surplus that doesn’t fit on board and here is where fate intervened.
I am a born fatalist. Too many ‘coincidences’ happening at opportune & crucial times over the years have convinced me about this.
Yesterday, whilst shopping at a local paint store with my daughter in law, Jenny, we chatted to the friendly manager, Tonia, who was helping us. Just as we were ready to leave, she mentioned that she was filling a container to send to Vanuatu, as her husband is a Nivan (native to Vanuatu), from the island of Erromanga in the far south (that was amongst the worst hit in Cyclone Pam). It appears the island has been flattened with not one building left standing and she informed me that no aid has yet reached there. I was once again reminded of my firm fatalistic belief.
We swopped contact details and will be talking again soon to discuss how we might both help out each other.
For now, Frank & I look forward to a busy weekend, ticking off more jobs on the ‘List’ with some birthday celebrations thrown in with family.