Much as we’ve absolutely loved and cherished our time with Nick and Sally in Cairns, it’s time to leave – our pockets are empty, our waistlines are bigger, and there’s not a spare corner in the boat for any more food, fuel or trading goods!
We originally thought we’d be here for a couple of weeks but weather and boat jobs put paid to that, so here we are 6 weeks later. And what a busy and social 6 weeks it’s been…
First of all there was the trip to Port Douglas to watch our stunning “Samba” Sally dance at the Carnivale, and the following day a relaxing pool session with some fresh prawns off the trawler for lunch. Yum!
Then Rob and Teneile joined us for a week – we’d hoped the weather would allow us get out to the reef for some diving and snorkelling but sadly Huey wasn’t co-operating. Instead we ate lots, went ten-pin bowling, played card games and generally had a great family time. Our “3rd son”, (Nick’s best friend) Nemo also put in an appearance and we put him to use helping us run a new spinnaker halyard down the mast. Thanks Nemo!
We also got to catch up with our good mate Sherm, who was in Cairns to join his son Will on board HMAS Success, so of course there was more obligatory eating and drinking!
And I got a special treat one morning when Nick had a spare seat in the helicopter – we got to fly out to Green Island and over the reefs, checking out the manta rays basking on the surface. Just fabulous!
And in amongst all that, we’ve been running around buying spare parts, fixing and repairing stuff, organising travel insurance, visas etc etc etc – you know the drill.
But now Toucan is as ready as she can be and it’s time to head off. The rain finally disappeared a couple of days ago and we were hopeful of a clear day today with no rain on the forecast. But no, it’s now started raining again. Arrghh! Queensland, you can keep your crappy weather, we won’t miss it one bit! On the other hand, the goodbyes with family are always the hardest part….hopefully it won’t be too long before we’re reunited.
We have a date with customs at 10am where we’ll get the official ‘Bugger Off Out Of Here” stamp and then Louisiade Archipelago here we come!