|Please use the sick bags provided|
|These are the swells inside the harbour!|
|Anchored off Delwood Beach|
|Added entertainment to our port side...|
|.... yoga class on paddle boards!|
|Dennis' best trick is to leap into the air when you throw him a length of rope (which he usually misses!)|
|Bravo motors off through much calmer water towards Sydney Heads and the Tasman Sea|
The logistical challenge of having Maunie in Australia led us to consider selling her here (but that would involve importing her into Australia first and paying 15% of her value as tax, plus the not-insignificant issue of shipping our personal belongings back home) but the additional significant emotional ties to her quickly had us discount that option. Instead we’ve found a company which will ship her from Newcastle (just north of Sydney) to Southampton, via NZ, Tahiti, Panama and Florida so almost retracing her outbound route) with about 20 other yachts on the deck of a specialist freighter. It’s an expensive trip but, considering the running and maintenance costs of the 18 month sail back via South Africa, not prohibitively so and we are lucky with the timings since it only runs once a year.
So we will load Maunie onto the ship in early March for the 8-week voyage home and then have a month or so of land-travel in Australia before we fly back on the 17th April. We'll meet Maunie in Southampton, re-rig her (we have to remove all the sails, canvas covers and running rigging before the shipping) and sail her back to Dartmouth before Graham starts work at the beginning of June. Oh, and we'll have to move back home, unpack all of our belongings, buy a car for Dianne and generally get ready for some serious work that doesn't involve boat maintenance on a daily basis!
We're of course disappointed that we won't be completing our circumnavigation but we have benefited from three wonderful bonus years aboard Maunie in some amazing places, so we really can't complain! Our return will also give us the time (and the money, of course) to do a bit of a refit on the boat. Maunie is 20 years old with 45,000 nm on her log so it'll be great to treat her to bit of serious tlc, the sort of work that would be impossible while we are living aboard. Re-varnishing the interior, replacing the teak decks (but not with teak!) and repainting her are the three big jobs on the list.
We'll make the most of our remaining few weeks of sailing in Australia and look forward to sailing into the beautiful River Dart in May.