Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Where do we go from here?

This is one happy family
I'm still having a hard time collecting my thoughts about this whole adventure and wrapping it all up—so I'll wait on that for another post (you can't get rid of me that quickly).  My heart aches thinking that there won't be any large oceans to cover for awhile and that we go back to just being "Kym and Martin."  Not that this matters, but it seems strange that we go back to life as it was before such a grand and unthinkable adventure like what we have experienced this past year.  I'm not just "Kym" anymore after all this.  There is so much more to me now.  So, I have to sort this all out before I just go back to being a housewife and mom (two roles I greatly adore).  I guess this is what you call surreal and leave it at that for now until I get it all sorted out in my head.

Emotions are mixed because every day for the last year I have woken up to a new day knowing what was ahead of me, what was expected of me, and where I was going (for the most part).  Now, it's planning.  Planning on what Martin and I should do with AMARA for the next five months.  Planning on where we should go once we find AMARA her new home, and then planning for the next chapter in our lives—going home to Utah.  It may sound trivial but it will be hard to leave AMARA in Australia while we venture home to our old lives in Utah.  I know she's just a boat, but she has also been our home for the last year and we were anticipating her for a whole year before that.  AMARA has been another member of the family so to speak, and now we are leaving her here while we go home to Utah.
Coming into the harbor in Brisbane
So, what's next?  That's all going to have to go in my next entry, because Martin and I just aren't sure as of yet. Truthfully, we're tired.  Beat.  Exhausted. Because of that, we are slow in making a game plan for what happens next.  What we do know is that we have to figure out where to leave AMARA before next week.  Yesterday we went and visited different marinas around the Brisbane area to see what would be the best fit for our rather large boat.  She just can't go anywhere and we just can't leave her anywhere.  Then there is the matter of security.  We need to make sure she is safe before leaving her.  There is the decision on whether we should pull her out of the water for the season and put her on the "hard," or should we leave her in the water in a marina for her to sit until we return in April?

Then there is the matter of returning in April.  See, this adventure isn't completely over yet.  Just this leg of the race.  We still have oceans to cover and places to visit, but come this time of year, in this part of the world, there are cyclone's to contend with.  So, packing up AMARA is a must in order to wait out the storms.  Then we can be back on our way again come April 2014.  I probably won't be a full-time sailor when I return in April.  I'll just be one that comes to the fun ports and then back home while Martin and his crew make the larger crossings.  Our plan is to eventually make our way back to the Caribbean some time in the Summer of 2014.  

The plan for today is taking down sails, cleaning my side of the hull (which is going to take me days to sort through) and then getting in a visit with a little town named, Brisbane.  We have been here 5 days and haven't even been to downtown Brisbane yet.  So, that is a priority for today.

Hopefully, I can wrap up a few more thoughts running through my head in the next post and highlight beautiful Brisbane. Maybe by then, we'll have a few more things finalized and I can share with you what our next leg of this amazing adventure will entail.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Greetings from Down Under

Our crew is happy...
…and Lily wants to become an Aussie and perhaps take up residence with David and Sue.
There is so much more to post and tell you about our final passage to Australia.  There are so many emotions to dissect and so many thoughts to finalize.  We are busy, busy with so much to do here in Brisbane, i.e., finding AMARA a temporary home for the next few months, cleaning, fixing stuff, more cleaning and even more fixing of stuff.  Then there is saying goodbye to our crew (weep. weep.) and figuring out what we are doing next as a family.  For now though, I just wanted to let you all know that we made it to Brisbane, Australia after a six day passage at sea.

Give me a day or so to collect myself and I'll tell you all about it.  For now, we are so happy to be here in Oz.  It's everything and more!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Exploring the Islands of New Caledonia

After leaving the Isle of Pines, we took off to explore more of the beautiful islands in New Caledonia.  So many remain untouched and pristine.  We couldn't decide which one to visit first.
Before we did… Martin and David had to do a rescue.  A woman and her sons came out on paddle boards and a kayak but couldn't fight the current to get back in to shore.  So David had to load them all up in the dinghy and take them back to shore.
Also, this blog wouldn't be complete without congratulating Martin on his new purchase.  After 40 years, he FINALLY purchased a new pair of fins (on the right).  I think that these may just turn him into a super hero.
Out with the old and in with the new!
Discovering a new island.  The island of Alcamere.
Martin and David anchoring the tender as we go ashore.
Lily loves to play in the sand.
Family Photo.
Me doing what I do best… snoozing.
I can't get over the white beach.  The sand was like powdered sugar.
AMARA keeping an eye on us from the bay.
Toesies in the sand.
Martin doing what he does best… dancing.
Our little angel.
DSCN9838 Next stop.  Brisbane!

Isle of Pines

The next day, we took off for the Isle of Pines to see what all this talk was about.  The trip to Isle of Pines was probably one of our longest and roughest days at sea.  Even in our cruiser guides it states, "Getting there can be a problem, as generally the passage is to windward."  What should have taken us only four to five hours to get to, took us ten hours.  The swells were so large that it felt like we were riding a bucking bronco the entire time as we rode up and down each wave.  It was miserable… MISERABLE!  A few times we thought about giving up, turning AMARA around and heading downwind straight for Brisbane.  However, we just kept saying, "Let's go a little more" that by the time we wanted to head for Brisbane, but by then we were closer to the Isle of Pines and decided to just go for it.

Needless to say, the beautiful white sandy beach and turquoise waters were a sight for sore eyes.  All I wanted to do the minute that we arrived was to just get out and walk around.  So we did just that.

I have to say, that the Isle of Pines does not disappoint and was truly a paradise for us after such a grueling run that day. 

Discovering the Bay of Prony

Our first stop on our way to the Isle of Pines was at Prony Bay.

The Bay of Prony is a beautiful bay that is five miles long and six miles wide that meanders through a lovely little valley.  It has a hard scrub vegetation with loads of red soil heavily scarred by past mining activities and water erosion.  The Bay of Prony is known for the fact that it was once a nickel-cobalt mine and a place where the French brought their prisoners to mine the land.  For tourists, it's better known for its hot springs and great hiking.

The Bay of Prony with AMARA in the forefront.
Going down the river toward the hot springs.  It got a little shallow, so we had to get out and walk the tender down the river.
Our Little Adventurer
Martin isn't so sure about the "hot springs"
The gang
Lily and I decided to bow out of the hot springs and enjoyed it from the sidelines.
Getting back to our dinghy.
The Mangrove trees
That evening, we spent the night in the bay and had our good friends (Lazy Bones) come over and join us for some hors d'oevure and some fun chatting.

Off to another adventure the following day.