Well this is the blog update I have been putting off as it’s hard to accept what I am about to write:
We have sold our beloved seafaring home Bali Hai!
A bout of crippling back issues for the skipper and the need for a hip replacement on my part made us realise we weren’t getting any younger. If our dreams of buying a catamaran and sailing it back to SE Asia from the USA (or possibly Europe) were to be fulfilled then we would have to get a wiggle on. And then there was a heap of land travel we were planning ….
So reluctantly, and thinking that she probably wasn’t going to sell in SE Asia and we would still be sailing her back to Australia within the next little while, we put Bali Hai up for sale at Rebak Marina with Frederique Fontaine at Langkawi Boat Sales and Services.
We arrived back at Rebak Marina in Langkawi, Malaysia from the Andaman Islands on 26 March. We had a wedding to attend in Brisbane Australia on 31 March and to give us time to recover from the flight we were to fly there overnight on 29 March. That gave us just short of three days to completely pack up all our possessions, and clean the boat ready for viewing.
Packing your life up after three years living aboard is not easy! There was so much to sort out. There was a lot of stuff to throw and give away. Then we had to chose what to take back to Brisbane with us and what to store. We had purchased two massive holdalls in which we could store stuff – our kind friends from Yantara had graciously offered us some space in their storage shed in the marina so we could put some things there to retrieve later. We had bought 60 kilos each of luggage for the flight back so knew we could take a fair amount to Brisbane with us.
It was rather overwhelming at the time but now, some months later I couldn’t tell you what we threw out or what we put on the table outside the marina office although I know with some of the items it was hard to let go. Judging by how quickly they disappeared I’m pretty sure it wasn’t rubbish! Then we left heaps on the boat for the new owners or – if she didn’t sell quickly – for us to use on our way back to Australia.
We organised through Frederique to have our stainless steel and our decks cleaned. The topsides had been polished during our haul out before we left for the Andamans so they just needed a quick wash down.
Down below we managed to clean the forward and rear cabins but we just ran out of time and couldn’t get the salon looking smick. Fortunately, Frederique was able to come to the rescue and organised a cleaner to finish off what we had started.
This whirlwind pack up was quite exhausting, especially coming on top of a voyage with three nights at sea and very little sleep. We were still putting things into storage when we were supposed to be heading for the last ferry from Rebak Island to connect us to the mainland in time for our flight. We weren’t going to make it! I hurried down to the terminal and thank goodness I was able to organise a private ferry to come to Bali Hai and collect us and our luggage.
After loading our four suitcases and two carry on bags on to the ferry and clambering on ourselves we felt a great sense of relief. We had done it (more or less)! Then I remembered that I hadn’t cleared out the “cooler” section of the fridge in which we stored things that didn’t require refrigeration but benefitted from being kept at a constant temperature. I couldn’t remember what was in it except for some French perfume and tonic water! Fortunately Frederique also organised for it to be cleared and cleaned.
Just as well, as within a day or two of us leaving two prospective buyers (couples) were due to come and view Bali Hai.
Much to our absolute surprise one of the couples made an offer very quickly and within a few weeks after we had left her in Rebak, Bali Hai was sold.
The skipper made one last trip to Rebak on 19 May to do a hand over with the new owners and sort out the items in storage. Once again some things were too heavy to take and were sacrificed to the give away table next to the marina office. The rest of the things were packed up for the flight back to Australia.
Bali Hai’s new owners are a very nice couple, Andrew Bruechert and Tess Kealy from Western Australia. People who hail from that part of Australia are often referred to as Sandgropers after the strange subterranean insect found in that state. So being a couple of committed West Australians Andrew and Tess have made the boat their own and renamed her “Sandgroper”.
For those of you out there in South East Asian waters look out for Andrew and Tess who have already made a name for themselves in Phuket Race Week by coming fifth overall in their class with a third in one race. Fantastic going considering they had only just taken ownership and didn’t know the boat well!
We had owned Bali Hai for seven years, three of which we had spent sailing the beautiful waters of SE Asia. It was hard to say goodbye – as the old song says “breaking up is so hard to do”!
In the meantime our plans are coming together. Being gluttons for punishment we put our family home, which had been rented out while we were sailing, up for sale.
So a couple of days after the wedding we had returned to Brisbane to attend, we moved all our furniture from storage back into our house. Again, we were working against the clock as the first open house was to be the following weekend. Yikes!
The garden was a mess, even by our very lax standards so we not only had to clean and organise the internal spaces, we also had to do at least some garden care on our bush block.
Amazingly we had a firm offer within a couple of weeks of the house going on sale. We had put a lower price on than we had when we tried to sell three years previously. Possibly if we had waited for months instead of weeks we would have sold it for slightly more but we felt at our stage of life it was better to have more time than more money!
So after unpacking all our worldly possessions the next thing was to pack up everything that our daughter had left behind while she was travelling the world as now she was happily settling down in the Netherlands with her new partner.
Going through all her “ stuff” was somewhat of a marathon but eventually, after much to-ing and fro-ing we narrowed down items to be thrown away (so hard to chuck some of those sweet drawings and early writing), things to giveaway (mainly clothes), things to be sold (four poster bed and thirteen pairs of stilettos) and stuff to be sent over by ship, to the Netherlands.
By the time all our daughter’s belongings were loaded into boxes ready to take up four cubic metres of a shipping container, the house was definitely sold so once again it was necessary to pack up all our furniture and other possessions ready to go back into storage again.
As we were planning to be “houseless” for the foreseeable future and if and when we bought another house again it would very likely have a much smaller living space than our family home, we decided that it was time to get rid of much of our larger furniture.
We gave away quite a bit of furniture and the rest we sold which was quite a wonderful experience as each buyer was so happy with their purchase and all had a fascinating story to tell.
There were for example, the young Rohingya refugees who were delighted with the “extras” we gave them, the lovely young couple who had just rented their first home together, and a Dad of six who owned a fashion business on the Sunshine Coast. It was a actually a very pleasant experience.
In the end we just kept our bedroom furniture, some outdoor furniture that we love and various household items like pots and pans, basic china and cutlery and just a few clothes plus some pictures, photos and old letters.
It felt liberating to divest ourselves of so much stuff – our yacht, our house and a lot of unnecessary furniture and other possessions.
While we were getting rid of stuff we were also busy acquiring a major item which would play an important part in our next adventure- a brand new camper van which was going to be waiting for us near Paris in June.
Also , somewhere in the world is the 42 feet Lagoon Catamaran that we plan to buy in 2019.
More of that in another post. In the meantime, I will continue with my “Salty Tales“ blog but understand that many readers won’t be interested in land based travel (even though we have been having the most amazing time in Scandinavia). However, if you are interested in our continuing adventures please keep reading. After all, it is you who make the effort of writing regularly worthwhile! Otherwise, I look forward to reconnecting when we find the Lagoon of our dreams.
Thanks everyone for sharing our adventures on Bali Hai!