Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Leaving Iluka

Our friend Michelle organized a barbie at Woody Head last weekend for the whole Iluka crew. After everyone had eaten we all went for a walk along the shore. These pictures of that walk sum up the best of Iluka for me - good people, a big crew of kids for Elias to slot into, and a setting where those kids have every chance of enjoying an idyllic childhood - a place that is very beautiful and not crowded, where life can be reasonably slow of pace and (though this part doesn't appear in the photos) families are not organized around earning two incomes.


The next morning as we were heading out for a surf, my friend Miles said, "Yeah. They're not a bad mob."
The inescapable condition of social life in a small town is that you are dependent on the chance collection of peers that is available to you - there's little room for searching out a more convivial social scene, as you might in a city. And that's the joy of Iluka, that there's such a good group of people here. It's fun to think of us settling down here long enough to have the next baby, and Alisa and I have considered it... but the horizon still calls! Tasmania is in the offing! Winds allowing, we're out of here on Saturday!
While we're excited, it's also sad in a way to leave - we can look down the path of a potential life here and see ourselves quite content. And that's one of the real tensions of our permanent state of travel. We move far enough afield, and travel slowly enough, that we end up meeting wonderful people in places that we never even heard of before we left home. But then we keep moving.
Tasmania is a thousand miles away, and we've left ourselves about a month to get there before Alisa's third trimester begins. Today Alisa and I realized that this trip to Tassie will most likely be our last cruise aboard Pelagic. We are firm in our conviction that a fourth person will make this boat too crowded for us, and the plan is to sail to Hobart, buy a car and rent a house, get into the boatyard, get a coat of fresh paint on the old barky, and put her on the market.
Although we're excited at the prospect of a new home afloat, we're a bit gobsmacked that the end of the Pelagic years is suddenly upon us.

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