Australia – the bottom bit

I am writing this while anchored in the Burnett River downstream from Bundaberg. It is eight months since we were last here and in that time we have sailed 4000 nautical miles. That is 7400 kilometers which is the same distance as from Gibraltar to Saint Petersburg – and back again. Or from Switzerland to Namibia. It is a long way, especially in an eleven meter boat that averages 4 knots or 7.5 kilometers per hour.

Eight months ago we had not seen the fireworks on New Years Eve, we didn’t know there was an Australian territory called “Jervis Bay” and we had never seen Tasmania. We had only read about the legendary Bass Strait, didn’t know how wood boats were built and had never worked on a stud farm. Port Davey, Lakes Entrance and Bruny Island were names we had never heard of. We had never cycled through the Blue Mountains or taken our bikes to the top of Mount Wellington. We have seen a lot and learned a lot, “down south”.

When we left here there were so many people that we didn’t know and now call friends. Other sailors, ex sailors and those we met in the ports and bays we called at. People invited us to their houses or boats, drove us where we needed to go, gave us presents of fish, fruit and vegetables or organised the support we needed to enjoy our travels.

We are lucky that we can afford the time to decide that “Tasmania sounds nice” and then take eight months to sail there and back. But we are also glad that we have the drive to do it. Others were here when we left and are still here now, dreaming of the adventure they will do “one day!”

And now it is time to head north towards Indonesia. It is “only” 2100 miles as the crow flies.

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