Sometimes I have to pinch myself and ask how come we're able to do what we're doing and end up being so lucky. Our 90-day rule? Well, things have escalated. It's more like a 30-day rule recently. The cruising/sailing community is so tight-knit, so supportive and so generous, it's overwhelming. So, here's our latest scenario. We had several contacts in Albany … mostly friends of friends ... and we sent e-mails in advance to let folks know we would be arriving soon in hopes we'd have a chance to meet new friends and visit with some old ones. Maree, whom we met when she and her family were volunteer caretakers at Deal Island, lives ~ 70 miles (120km) from Albany and she put us in touch with a very experienced sailor here, Mark, who gave us advance anchoring/mooring and general info about the area and allowed us to use his address to receive some parts we needed. He came for tea the other morning and delivered the parts to the boat and we'll probably see him again later in the week. Maree has now invited us to stay at her home and show us around the area.
Apart from Maree, our good friend, David V. from the outskirts of Melbourne who's been following our blog for years, put us in touch with friends of his who live here in Albany. We contacted Don and Judith (previously of Aurora III) to say hello. They proceeded to meet up with us, take us to the fresh market in Albany, then to coffee and left us with their car … for a week! We also have an invitation to stay in their guest room if we'd like, take showers at their home and we're having dinner with them at their home one evening. This is over the top, don't you think?
They also suggested we try to meet Darren who runs the Emu Point Slipway and is a shipwright by trade. He wasn't around when we called in, but they had already made arrangements to park their car in the boatyard next to his shop every night. When we returned at the end of the day, he was there and we stopped in to introduce ourselves. He was welcoming, reiterated that it was fine to park the car where it was and offered us a few days of free dockage near the slipway to make provisioning and fueling easier.
Remember how lucky we were meeting Del and Mark and Sue and the Mackenzies in Esperance? Remember those cruisers we met in Streaky Bay? We're still in touch with them. In particular, Eva and Brian on Zofia have given us contacts for nearly every port we'll be visiting in the next month or two. Pauline and Denys have just put us in touch with their good friends in Perth.
Either the 90-day rule is becoming a monthly occurrence OR we're getting ahead on hospitality to make up for the upcoming Indian Ocean crossing when we'll go for weeks without meeting anyone at all. We've really got to be intent on paying it back because we've been getting a lot of pay it forwards from others. We're pretty lucky sailors. Life is good.
BTW, Happy Easter to our friends down under. The Easter bunny, I mean bilby, always gets here early!