Friday, January 27, 2017

Our Movements

Thank you all for your input in choosing our next steps. While we still don’t have a definite plan, we are moving closer to having some idea of what we will do. In short, we still don’t know but we’ve been given lots more to think about. 

A new option came up for us as we were offered an opportunity to housesit in Darwin for 5 weeks. We would LOVE to but we want/need to sail this season and a month plus in Darwin would get us back to the boat way too late in the season to make that happen. Raincheck Darwin Clearys!

We are sad to say that New Caledonia and Vanuatu are off the cards. Due to our land travels, we are quite possibly getting back to the area too late to catch any northerlies south. We may already be pushing our luck trying to get down to the Whitsundays but three days of beating into the wind is a much different story than trying to get all the way down the Queensland coast in a hurry. 

The guy tasked with cleaning Batty’s hull while we’ve been gone and keeping an eye on her just informed us that Batty probably needs a new bottom paint job. We knew she was coming due but were hoping to eek another season out of the current coat. We will have to see what we think when we are back with her but for now we are planning a haul-out when we get back. 

So in summary… we will see how we go when we get back! There are a lot of factors that we just can’t know until we are there. Wind, weather, the state of Batty’s bottom and inevitable haul-out surprises will all play a part. Oh yeah... and having a mobile baby on board! 

Bryce has been taking a break from the cold for the last few days and visiting some friends down in balmy Nashville. He comes back tomorrow and we start our last week in Wisconsin.

Next stop… Texas!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Choose Our Adventure

When I was little, I used to read the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books.  

Sally was being chased by a dragon, when she came to a cliff. If Sally jumped off the cliff, turn to page 95. If Sally stayed to fight, turn to page 3. 

I would cheat and turn to both pages to see which outcome I preferred before choosing my action and very often would have multiple scenarios running at the same time. As as we all know, real life doesn’t quite work like that. We have to commit to our decisions and take whatever comes when we turn the page. 

With that in mind, we have been trying to decide what direction we are going to take this year. It has been a few years but we will FINALLY have an entire cruising season with Batty. While we have a few boat jobs to get done once we are reunited, we hope to be underway in no time. With so many amazing options in our backyard, we are having a hard time choosing. We would love to hear any other options we should consider and any opinions, positive or negative. 
The criteria for choosing where we are going are short and easy sails, easy land access, fun and new & exciting. It’s important to note that Batty is bluewater ready and we will be starting the season with a 10 month old on board.

The options:

Stay Where We are - Batty is currently in Townsville and cruising around that area would include Magnetic Island, the Palm Islands, Orpheus Island and several more. We have spent lots of time at Maggie and stopped at the other islands on our way up to Cairns several years ago.

Head North - In our journeys with Batty, the farthest north we have been is Cairns. There are lots of places to stop along the way to Cairns and lots to see further north. 

Head South - We would need to get going just before the season starts to be sure we still have northerlies to get south. Destination would be the Whitsundays. We spent last summer in the Whitsundays and have been there on other occasions as well. 

New Caledonia and Vanuatu - This would involve a much longer initial sail to get there but once we were there… oh man! We would need to be back at the boat earlier then we are currently planning as we need to go much further south (Brisbane) we need to go before heading east. None of us have been here. 


That’s it. All our options… well as least the ones we are considering. 

Thoughts? Questions? Other ideas? 

We would love to hear them!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Winter, Winter, Winter

So we traded our summer for another winter. One scorching hot Australian summer for one blistering cold Wisconsin winter. Cruising season in the Southern Hemisphere tropics runs over Winter from about May - October. Winter in Australia, at least in Northern Queensland, runs pretty mild, about 25 C/(77F) on average. 

So when we want to spend that time in Australia during cruising season AND visit friends and family in the US, this is the price we pay. Call me crazy but I am not a fan of the heat. I would rather be cold than hot any day. So I am quite happy to say “sayonara” to the Australian summer. 

The weather we have had in Wisconsin has been pretty random. Truth be told, we have had some absolutely beautiful days but they quickly become a distant memory when we have days with snow, rain and the worst, ice-rain (all day today) where we don’t leave the house. When we spoke to Bryce’s family in Brisbane the other and they told us that at 9am, it was 37C(99F). At 9am! I am very thankful to be in the cold! 

On the days when it’s not horrible outside, we have gone for walks. We have tried to go swimming at least once a week at an indoor pool near by. We are doing lots of yoga. The treadmill is getting a work out.  But we also spend ALOT of time in front of the fireplace, sipping tea and playing with baby I. and really when it is this cold and miserable outside, there is no place I’d rather be!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016 out!

As 2017 is already well in motion, we hope that everyone had a very happy and safe Christmas and New Years. The three of us spent the holiday season bundled up in front of the fireplace with my family in Wisconsin. We had a semi-white Christmas (snow in the process of melting), with blue skies and mild temperatures. We rang in the New Year with a bonfire and dinner at some friends farm. We cheated at tiny bit and celebrated Irish new year at 6 pm our time. Currently though it’s raining/sleeting. And freezing. So the roads and sidewalks are slick and dangerous. Give me snow anyday! 

2016 was not such a productive sailing year for us but we did accomplish a few other things. You know, like having a baby. As our almost 7 month old is ALREADY mobile, we are having to move up our plans for babyproofing the boat. Attaching lifeline netting is priority numero uno when we get back to the boat. 

We still aren’t sure exactly where 2017 will take us yet - we are open to suggestions! - but look forward to seeing our beautiful world anew through baby’s eyes!