It’s photo time!

Im lying in bed trying to work out how to entertain my 4 month old niece. If you remember she was born just before I set sail across the Atlantic. Oh how time has flown. She’s now a pooing machine with the most gorgeous little personality.

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Imagine how bored she’ll be of all these sailing stories by the time she’s grown up. For the moment however they’re working a treat!

I may have to look at these photos all day to try to combat the holiday blues…

I was coaxed onto the boat clutching my ribs with the reassurance that the wind would never exceed 20kts on this leg.

Leaving Hobart. The skipper psyching himself up, another emotional goodbye and a very ‘relaxed’ race start (we were last).

Know your place. Mine was in my bunk high as a kite watching the world go by. Drug time and emptying the bilges were particular highlights. The waves so choppy that they’d douse the deck and flow happily into the bilges next to my bunk. Perhaps good Feng Shui having a water feature next to your bunk?

When I made the epic journey to the heads of catch a glimpse of life on deck. Greg got stuck in helping our short-handed crew as the weather and waves built.

A few days in near Port Stephens we had ‘The rescue’. You can read about it in an earlier blog. The culmination of a series of events, all of which were bad! A broken forestay in the Sydney Hobart race, a prop wrap disabling the engine, halyards wrapping around the mast inhibiting the use of the headsails, a man on the helm with a damaged arm, someone sent up the mast in horrendous weather to untangle things-he got tangled, his crew mate trying to save the day injuring himself, the main sail jamming up preventing the use of that halyard for the rescue…7 hours later the casualty was lowered. If only the drama had ended there. The police boat the arrived, they were travelling faster under sail than tow so declined, the wind built to 109kts and they beached the boat. Not something the delivery crew wanted on their CV.

And then there was THE storm. The warning from 100 dolphins, 109 knots (125 mph) winds and a crew that on the whole relished the event.

The weather suddenly changed and I got the 20kts or less Greg had promised. After 7 (ish) solid days confined to my bunk I was reintroduced to life above. And I loved it. Before too long I was hanking on sails and overseeing the bow again. I don’t recommend if you’re convalescing.

And then we arrived in heaven. Life on board was HOT with the coolest spot on the boat being the sail locker. 6 were stepping off the boat.

If you haven’t been to the Whitsundays, go. Go before it changes. It’s simply stunning. A fitting place to end the trip of a lifetime. After the usual post-race admin it was time to relax and enjoy.

I may have had broken ribs but it wasn’t going to stop me joining Richard, Mike and Greg for a local 5km race.

And then it was time to say goodbye to the good ship Missi and all who sail on her, friends on other boats and the clipper family. Rachel (legs 7&8) and I were taken out on the local ‘Bobby D’ to send them on their way.

And then it was back to earth with a bump and a bit of dust. The excitement wasn’t over. In fact, life on a boat was the perfect preparation for no hot water or heating. Next stop work.

It’s photo time!

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