….but COVID has made a right mess of things for all of us hasn’t it.
So what’s been happening? (I can’t believe my last post was for Sarah’s birthday last year)
At that time I was newly installed in my brand-new-second-hand apartment in Dee Why. I’m well settled in now and have ripped up the astroturf in my little courtyard and am attempting to grown real grass. I’ve also upgraded the kitchen to induction. Having cooked on gas for all of my living memory the ceramic cooktop just wouldn’t do. I have a few more plans for future upgrades but more on that later.
Back then we were just getting started on racing Wine-Dark Sea again in what was a COVID disrupted season of sailing. There were mixed results and we ended up 3rd in the inaugural Combined Clubs Inshore Series and the RSYS Spring Series. We were racing every week, something we had never done in the past, and over the season the stress of this got to me. Yet another reminder of the symbiotic relationship SJGJ and I had in running the boat. Also her voice of reason that would have told me it was too much racing and not enough time just enjoying the boat.
This wasn’t made any better when I was caught in Sydney’s Northern Beaches lockdown. This put pay to any idea of cruising over the Christmas-New Year period. Something that, in hindsight, I really needed.
Throw in a few off-water dramas and I was really looking forward to a break by the end of the racing season. At that time I made the decision that Wine-Dark Sea would sit out regular racing for a couple of seasons. This almost instantly felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders and was validated the next weekend when I just took off on the boat by myself for a weekend in Broken Bay. I met up with some friends and just chilled. This is why we own boats and cruise them!!!
I’ve done this a few times since April and feel a peace that I don’t get on land, every time I do it.
Then before I knew it we were commemorating 2 years since Sarah’s passing. It was a hard day for all of us that knew her. My heart goes out to Andy and Hazel in Wales who I know feel her loss as keenly as the day it happened, especially on days like that. Many a bottle of bubbles was drunk in Sydney and around the world. Thank you to everyone who reached out on the day to send me their thoughts.
Now I’m looking forward at this year’s trip north. I have entered both Airlie Beach and Magnetic Island Race Week. My rough plan is to leave around the same time as the Sydney-Southport race fleet on the 31st July (weather dependent of course). This takes me back to 2016, our first trip north on WDS, when we got to Southport at the same time as the TP52’s….it just cost us 200 litres of diesel to do it, but we didn’t have the frustration of bobbing around in the fickle winter winds, which was just fine by us.
I hope wind and tide conspire to allow a trip to North-West Reef on the way to visit the site where I have buried the majority of Sarah’s ashes. With the state border closures we had here in Australia I didn’t make it last year which I really resented.
In other news, my business has continued to surge forward and a role in the new Sydney Football Stadium will keep me off the streets for the next year, along with a steady flow of other work. Greg Lake and I continue to throw ideas around about our Melbourne-Osaka campaign for 2025. I’ve even had the good fortune to find another special person who will put up with my bad humour and sailing obsession. Not to take the easy route, she does live in lock-down-heavy Melbourne, but when restrictions lift we make the most of it.
Anyway, that’s it for now. I promise to post a bit more as prep ramps up for the trip north.