2/1/14 Home

 

G & ML in Victoria

I’m home! One part of this extraordinary journey is over and another begins.

MaryLou and I have had several wonderful honeymoon days together and are going away for a few more to catch up on some time lost while I was at sea. We are charting a new course for our future which will include writing our book and me going back to work. There will be more adventures as well.  Your overwhelming support through comments and emails helped sustain both of us through the many difficult times we had over the past several months and we’d like to thank you for that. It’s difficult to describe how much having that contact helped make the adventure more meaningful for us. We hope you enjoyed coming along for the ride.       

The last two weeks in Australia were hectic.  After many months at sea, I was suffering from sore leg muscles and a drunken swagger that sometimes caught me off balance.  My pristine, self contained aquatic environment ended when I landed in Fremantle and got a bad head cold from having been kissed and shaking hands with so many wonderful people. A small price to pay for all the attention and love I received on arrival in Fremantle.  Bob Kucera, Commodore of the Fremantle Sailing Club (FSC) along with Terry Baker Vice Commodore, gave me a genuine Australian welcome and over the next two weeks I was treated as a guest and helped through a labyrinth of details by the friendly and competent staff at the Club. Their kindness and generosity went above and beyond the familiar assistance afforded a sailor in need. I owe them a great debt of gratitude.

West Wind II is in a “wet pen” (berth) at the FSC and is listed for sale with Peter Robinson, a long time member, through his brokerage. The very special situation that was created by pulling into Fremantle meant I could meet the ham operators and their families that had kept me company on the air through both my attempts as I passed Australia. It’s very difficult to put into words the bond that was formed between myself and MaryLou, and the ham operators and their families. 

From the first teary contact in Fremantle until the heartfelt goodbye at the airport, my days were filled with wonderful times over barbecues at their homes, fishing at the beach, and playing cards at the kitchen table. We shared many stories about the hundreds of calls made between us over thousands of miles and many months. I left West Wind II in Fremantle which was difficult, but doesn’t come close to how I felt leaving the many friends behind whom I had become so close to in those two short weeks in Western Australia.

I made many videos while I was at sea. Here are a few to give you an idea of what captured my imagination. Enjoy!

A bird’s eye view

Whale sighting

Magnificent

Heading home 29/1/14

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With apologies for the interruption in regular blog posts this past week, it’s been a jam packed and emotionally charged time in Fremantle, and here in Victoria.

After clearing customs and passing quarantine restrictions, Glenn’s first hurdle after being at sea for five months, was to adjust to a world that was suddenly very still (insofar as Glenn’s world is ever very still). He met with the Commodore and Vice Commodore and Harbour Master and others at the Fremantle Sailing Club who were gracious and accommodating and made everything go smoothly. The first order of business was getting the rigging repaired and they were able to connect him with the right people to get the job done quickly and efficiently. 

On his first weekend on land,  his long-time ham radio friends Alek and Barry and their wives Maryanne and Gina hosted Glenn and Claire at Alek and Maryanne’s cottage for a few days of hanging out at the beach, surf fishing, and getting to know each other over a few “frosty ones”. I was able to enjoy a virtual version of the party over Skype. 

The next big hurdle was making the difficult but practical decision to put West Wind II up for sale in Fremantle. There were many conversations back and forth and ultimately it was decided that selling her there was for the best. Claire and our friend Hayley rolled up their sleeves and pitched in to help with the mountain of chores involved in taking inventory,  cleaning and polishing the boat inside and out, offloading gear, and a thousand other things to get her in shape and ready to show a yacht broker. Peter Robinson came highly recommended and was impressed with the sight of her and of course, with the way she sailed. Peter wrote “West Wind II certainly ticks all the boxes as a luxury cruiser.”

                                  Here’s the link to the listing.  West Wind II 

If you know anyone who may be interested, we would very much appreciate you sending them the link or letting us know who they are via the blog. 

While Glenn makes his way home, I’m clearing my work schedule and other commitments and making a few plans for his arrival. We’re both looking forward to some quiet time to reflect and share our thoughts about our solo journeys.

We’ll be offline for a bit and back here with some reflections in the coming weeks.

Thank you all for your very kind comments. 

 

 

 

 

Making good progress 20/1/14

All is well. We had a fabulous time in Binningup with my two ham radio buddies Barry VK6HX and Alek VK6APK and their families.

Barry, Glenn and Alek

(l to r) Barry, Glenn, Alek

We’re now back in Fremantle working our way through our long list and making good progress.

The damaged shrouds have been replaced and the new shrouds are in place. We’ve been busy making arrangements for a place to keep the boat, organizing the gear, making lists of inventory, keeping everyone informed about our plans and a thousand other things…

It’s a very warm 34° C today in Fremantle so we’ll be looking for ways to keep cool this afternoon. We’ll send more news soon. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjusting to life on land January 18, 2014

 Glenn with Alek in Binningup

Another day of checking things off my list ….. but it’s getting longer!  Having Claire here to help me has been a pleasure and a God send. We now have a cell phone, which has made getting things done a lot easier. We’re pursuing many options for me to get home and as plans come together, we’ll let you know. 

One of the consequences of not walking more than a few steps a day while at sea is that after walking around all day my leg muscles are screaming and add to my drunken sailor swagger. Claire and I have taken the bus and train to get around Fremantle and Perth and enjoyed seeing much of the two cities while doing our errands. They’re easy to get around in and  we have enjoyed finding refuge in their many parks. People here are very willing to help the two ‘lost sailors’ and go out of their way to help with directions.

Maryanne and Alek “VK6APK” have been amazing friends and have shown us every kindness, from my first home cooked meal to guided tours of Fremantle and Perth sharing their home with us. They have been very understanding of our situation and helped me at every opportunity. I now have my glasses back which also adds a much better focus to everything I do. They are picking us up and taking us to visit their cottage in Binningup about 100 miles south of Fremantle. We will be there for a few days and are looking forward to seeing more of this fabulous country and meeting up with a few more people I’ve talked to on the Ham network but never met.

Glenn and Claire in Binningup

Last night we had a very pleasant surprise when our dear friend from Canada Hayley dropped by and shared a bottle of champagne with us as we talked of our many adventures and the impact they’ve had on our lives, both positive and negative. Both of us have experienced many triumphs and, many adventures that didn’t end the way we had planned.

West Wind II is proving to be a good shore base for us. The weather here has been fabulous, warm sunny days and cool nights, perfect weather really.The moon was full last night and made a beautiful scene here at the marina with the “Fremantle Doctor ” blowing a strong 30 knots all day and into the night.  

 

Aussie hospitality 15/1/14

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Everyone at the Fremantle Sailing Club, the Customs and Agriculture people have all been very kind to me. I have been given clearance for three months in Australia with the ability to bring food on and off the boat for the length of my stay. 

It’s now 10:30 and I’ve been up since the day before yesterday. Having Claire here is wonderful, she’s a pleasure to be with. We had dinner at Alek and Maryanne’s which was delightful. They are truly fantastic people. 

With each new day comes more to think about. Tomorrow I will tackle some of the issues on my mind with a good nights sleep behind me and the support of many good friends. I am missing you madly. I will solve the problems as quickly as possible.