After six years and some hard travelin’ Escape Velocity needs a little love and attention. We’ve been keeping up with normal maintenance but we’ve got some bigger jobs to take care of and now’s the time while we’re still in an easy-access country. We came to Pittwater thinking there’d be the right services for the jobs we have to do, but we learned quickly that local mechanics have their hands full maintaining the huge local fleet and couldn’t really fit transients into their schedules. We did get the dinghy outboard serviced but the mechanic told us it might be six weeks before he could look at our recalcitrant starboard engine. That’s not gonna fly. On to plan B. Go north.
Leaving Sydney means leaving dear friends and it’s so hard to drag ourselves away. A couple of last hurrahs made us nostalgic for all the life-changing experiences, memorable adventures, and hours and hours of conversations over good food and fine drink in some of the most beautiful anchorages in the world. When you’ve made memories with people, they become part of your history and we hate to say goodbye.
Di and I enjoyed a girl’s day out, starting with a pilgrimage to West Head Lookout to marvel at the fact that nearly 18 months ago we both sailed past Barrenjoey, a homecoming for them, a huge milestone for us. We both agreed that sometimes when we gaze out at the ocean we can’t believe we’ve crossed that big water in our boats. From shore it can look quite intimidating but once we’re out there it’s home.
We followed the lookout with a little shopping and lunch, all in all a nice break from routine for both of us.
On our last Sunday in Pittwater Sherm and Mia invited the crew to their new abode, a comfy house within walking distance to the yacht club, and with a private and beautifully landscaped garden. When you live on a boat it’s always a privilege to be invited into people’s homes, sit in real chairs and pass an afternoon in good company.
We couldn’t leave Sydney without a last visit to the home of Diana and Alex, late of Enki II. They offered to drive up to Escape Velocity but we wanted a last journey to the Big Smoke, which involved a long dinghy ride, a one-hour bus ride to downtown, and another bus that took us to within about a kilometer of their house. It was an odyssey that made us nostalgic for Sydney before we’d even said goodbye.
Walking to our second bus stop we were lured into the ornate Queen Victoria Building and how we missed it on every other city visit I’ll never know. It’s a beautiful gallery of exclusive shops and we couldn’t resist a box of pastries for our hosts.
Chez Enki we did nothing special but watch the Oscars, ruminate about EV’s options for the coming cruising seasons, and eat Diana’s gorgeous food. We all avoided the topic of goodbyes because we know in our hearts we’ll remain friends no matter where we are.
And then it was time to raise the sails and set a course for Queensland. Goodbye to Sydney. Goodbye for now to good friends. New adventures await us soon!