Meeting Up with Wind Wanderer Again

One of the joys of cruising is meeting new friends in a port and then meeting up with them again and again and again. We first met the Wind Wanderer crew, Sandy and Vic, in the Cocos Keeling Islands near the beginning of our Indian Ocean transit. Their Australian-flagged, 1982-vintage CT54 ketch was anchored close to Cups off Direction Island. As cruisers often do, we met up with them again in Port Louis, Mauritius and then again in Durban. We'd chat amiably each time we met, but it wasn't until our time together in Durban that we really got to know each other and spend some time together and since then we've been in frequent contact, but never in the same port. vic and sandy on windwanderer

Since we had a hire car and the First Mate convinced the Captain that we were due for a play day, we gave the Wanderer crew a call and headed to Simonstown. We spotted Wind Wanderer as we turned the corner heading into the port. She was snugged up against the outside of the pier at the False Bay Yacht Club.

windwanderer at false bay yacht club

After hugs and a coffee at the yacht club, we headed off to lunch. It was Vic and Sandy that first told us about Live Bait in Kalk Bay and we decided our farewell lunch should be celebrated there. There's never a dearth of conversation between the four of us. One thing about hanging out with Wind Wanderer, she seems to have as many issues lately as Nine of Cups. Misery loves company! They've had generator issues and engine issues and now transmission problems and a broken bobstay. Whenever we chat, we always have much to commiserate about.

lunch at live bait

One of less pleasant parts about cruising is saying goodbye to friends you've made. Vic and Sandy will be staying in South Africa awhile to sort out their boat problems and then will head back to Australia when Sandy's first grandchild is born. We will be heading across the Atlantic. Perhaps, we'll see them in the Carib or meet up in New Orleans … we've talked about that possibility. In the meantime, it's goodbye for now with lots of pleasant memories. I've promised to leave a package of goodies for them at the Royal Cape YC desk for them to collect:  a couple of Australian courtesy flags and a slightly-tasted jar of Vegemite.

gifts for windwanderer

A New 30 Day Rule - Albany, WA

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.


maree and family


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?


don and judith


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.


aboard noc


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!

It's a Small World After All

distant anchorage ushuaia argentina  

When you're in the middle of a big ocean on a small boat, the world seems pretty big. But whether you're on a boat tied up to the Elizabeth Street Pier in Hobart or anchored in some distant harbor, it's definitely a small world. You invariably meet someone you know ... or at least someone who knows someone you know.


robert at ready lunch


When we sent out our holiday newsletter and advised folks we were in Hobart, we got all sorts of emails back letting us know that relatives, friends and acquaintances were in town and we should be on the look out for them. Pam e-mailed to say that Ted's son, Robert, owns Ready Lunch on the Elizabeth Street Mall and we should stop in for some great coffee which we did.


wild goose crew


Jan whom we'd met in Gisborne, New Zealand a couple years ago, said her son, Jamie, and his family was arriving shortly on the yacht Wild Goose and we should watch for them. In fact, unbeknownst to me at the time, I had already met Lisa in the shower that very morning.


cups in paccys berth


We met Richard in Dunedin, New Zealand two years ago and he e-mailed to say a good friend of his lived in Hobart. Sure enough, we made contact and Paccy stopped by one night for a beer. When we were told by TasPort Control that we needed to vacate the Elizabeth Street Pier within a day, it was Paccy who let us rent his slip in the marina until Boxing Day.

When we met Pauline and Denys from Adelaide on their vacation in Fiji a year or so ago, we never thought we'd see them again, but we stayed in touch. They were visiting their son and his family in Blackman's Bay while we were berthed in nearby Kettering and they stopped for lunch aboard one day. We now have some friends to visit when we stop in Adelaide in a couple weeks.


small world_suva_ship_like_moamoa


It was no surprise to see a boat anchored at Deal Island that we'd seen on our previous visit. Running into friends of friends anchored at Grassy Harbour in King Island didn't shock us either. Getting an email the other day from Dan on Jacana who'd shared a horrific night in Suva Bay when our yachts were almost run down by a dragging ship caught our attention though. He'd read our blog and realized we were on Australia's southern coast and invited us over.

The oceans may be big, but our world is still a pretty small place. And if you're humming that song “It's a Small World After All” … stop it!

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