Vital skin check ends in airport dash

With just over a week left before we were due to leave Australia, Jonathan finally went for a skin check – a vital medical examination for anyone who has lived in the Southern Hemisphere and especially if they happen to be yachties!

Unfortunately, a small lesion on the end of his nose that had refused to heal, turned out to be Basel Cell Carcinoma – a form of cancer, rarely fatal but untreated can grow wide and deep and destroy skin, tissue and bone.

An innocuous mark on the end of Jonathan’s nose turned out to be a Basel Cell Carcinoma

Fortunately the skin doctor swung into action quickly and had Jonathan booked into a nearby brand new (and expensive) private hospital within in a couple of days to have the offending cancer chopped out and covered with a skin graft taken from his neck.

Six days before we were due to fly out he had the day surgery – all was good although the surgeon had to have two goes at the BCC before he managed to get all the offending tissue out.

Fortunately Jonathan was able to have the procedure before we left Australia!

There was just one hitch – Jonathan would need to see the surgeon before we left the country to have the skin graft examined and some stitches out.

The appointment should have been a week later but thankfully the surgeon said six days would suffice. We were very fortunate that he was willing to see Jonathan very early in the morning on our way to catch our plane – which was taking off at 10.10! It was going to be tight!

We were nervous about getting to the airport in time – especially as post Covid there have been so many delays getting through immigration etc and the advice is to arrive at least three hours before your flight.

We were nervous about getting to the
airport in time!

Our wonderful son Ben and daughter-in-law Sarah drove us to the hospital and we arrived well before 7am and loitered outside the doctor’s rooms while Ben and Sarah were in the car poised for a quick get away.

Thankfully, the surgeon arrived bang on 7am and didn’t seem to mind us door stopping him as he arrived for work! He saw Jonathan immediately and organised removal of the stitches from his neck and half the stitches on his nose before sending us off with care instructions.

After the appointment we just jumped into the car and made a dash for the airport. Amazingly we made it in time (two hours before take off) and there were no delays going through passport control/immigration.

We made it! Waving farewell to Ben and Sarah

Although it was exciting to be on the move again, we were of course, feeling devastated to be saying farewell to Ben and Sarah and to be leaving their gorgeous 100 acre property with the grand doggies and grand duckies. It was also very sad to say goodbye to other family members, especially our great nieces and nephews who change so quickly when we are away.

We felt devastated at saying goodbye to Ben and Sarah and to be leaving their gorgeous 100 acre property
And sad to farewell all our lovely Australian family (pictured at a family lunch
before we left)

We had spent three wonderful months together but it all seemed to have gone in a flash!

During the last two weekends before we left, Ben and Sarah – with the help of friends and family – built an amazing duck pen now known as the “Duck Mahal”.

The first steps towards the completion
of the Duck Mahal
Ben making sure everything was level

With roomy living quarters and a spacious “ run” the new accommodation even boasts a deck and a chandelier! More importantly it is large enough to leave the ducks in if Ben and Sarah are going away for a couple of days.

Progress is being made –
time for the roof to go on

The finished product is testament to Ben and Sarah’s vision and determination – and to having the assistance of Sarah’s very skilled Dad plus friends and other family members who contributed in their various ways.

Friends and family helped with
the construction
Everyone played a part
The “topping off “ celebrations
The Duck Mahal even has its own chandelier
The duckies love their new quarters
They duckies even have a deck

The night before we left there was a glorious sunset and as we drove along the long and winding road to Ben and Sarah’s one last time, we watched the sky turn from a dazzling cobalt blue to a fiery, vibrant red glow. It was spectacular and as we stared up to watch the last vestiges of sun disappear we started to feel homesick for Australia – before we had even left!

Driving back to Ben and Sarah’s – the last time for now
We started to feel homesick for Australia – before we had even left!

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

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