Before we departed Cairns for the first leg of the Sail to Wonderful Indonesia Rally there were a few jobs that just had to be done.
One such task was something Jonathan had definitely been putting off – and neither of us were looking forward to – going up the mast to fix an errant Lazy Jack and to thread the cords for our flags.
Jonathan was naturally nervous about swinging from a thirty year old Bosuns Chair at an unnatural height and I was even more nervous about being responsible for getting him up there! I was afraid that I might let go of the rope at the wrong moment and splatter him all over the deck or at the very least forget how to get him down from up the top of the mast!
Despite the windy conditions and being a Sunday, the plethora of people speeding past on their fishing tinnies, fizz boats and jet skis, causing the mast (and therefore Jonathan) to see-saw sickeningly way above my head, all went well.
In fact it went so well that he even volunteered to go up a second time – right to the top this time – to carry out some other important task.
As someone said, better that we did this for the first time on this boat, in reasonable conditions, than in the middle of the ocean, in marginal weather and in an emergency!
Other last minute jobs included a final trip to the laundrette, a visit to the fruit and veg market in the company of some of the other ship’s cooks,(which included a lovely “last” cappuccino in the local coffee shop) and trips to the fresh fish shop to stock up on fresh Mahi Mahi, tuna and mackerel.
With enough food and drink to probably outlast the longest round the world non stop voyage, including 20 packs of biscuits for cheese, literally hundreds of teabags and kilos of loose tea, more toilet roll than an office would use in an average year, a freezer crammed with fish, meat, frozen veg and frozen lasagnes, shepherds pies, curries, soups and casseroles (and just one tub of ice cream), copious tins of tomatoes, tuna and various vegetables, kilos and kilos of cheese, enough pasta to feed a family with six bambinos for the foreseeable future and lots (maybe just enough?) of wine, we couldn’t find space for another thing. (For those who know Mr Creosote, not even “one more waferrr”)
We had finished the long list of jobs to get the boat ready, attended the briefings and socials and “shopped til we dropped”. We were ready as we were ever going to be.
So on Monday 6 July we pulled our anchor up in in the Cairns River for the last time (on this trip) and made our way down through the channel markers and then turned left up towards Thursday Island where we will clear customs and depart Australia officially.
And then it’s off to Indonesia! It still feels like a dream and we both can’t quite believe it is really be happening but all being well, we will be departing Australia on 21 July for Debut Island in the Indonesian Regency of South East Molluca, with an ETA of 26 July.