We spent four weeks working on the boat, two on the hard stand and two in the marina. Various people commented on our hard work and how beautiful Artemis looks but we were both itching to “get going again”.
Yesterday we put all the sails back on to Artemis and she looked like a sailing boat. In the evening we attended our last “cruisers BBQ” at the marina and this morning we backed out of the berth and entered the Burnett River. There was hardly any wind but we still shook out the mainsail to re-stack it and left it up “just for fun”.
We headed upriver being pushed by the rising tide. The motor ran nicely, the tide added a knot and even the wind occasionally filled the sails. Life was as it should be.
At one point the charts showed a depth of zero centimeters so we were relying on the tide adding two meter to that so that we could sneak across the sand bar. Heidi was navigating, Neill was watching the depth meter, the situation was tense but everything worked out. We had 40 centimeters between us and the bottom. Easy!
We passed farms, houses and the famous Bundaberg Rum distillery – where all the local sugar cane gets converted to Rum – and finally anchored in the middle of town. The trip was under ten miles but it was our return to freedom.
Over four years ago, when we first left from the yard in Scotland, we achieved only five miles, so we are getting better.