So no new leaves are being turned over for either of us in 2012. But we did take the opportunity of New Year's Eve to reflect on what we made of 2011, and what it made of us. It was a year when we did a lot, and as we sat in the cockpit drinking cheap sparkling wine last night, talking about it all, I realized that there were few things we did last year that we ended up regretting. We're glad that we bought this one particular imperfect boat and sailed the hell out of it. We're glad that we set off across the Pacific only three and a half months after we bought the boat. We're even glad that we left San Diego the day after the northeast Pacific hurricane season began - the risk was quite low, and the alternative was twiddling our thumbs on the West Coast of North America for eight months or so. And we're glad that we're out sailing the world now, even though all of our voyaging has been done while our little boys were completely the wrong age. The alternative, of sitting in the office jobs back home and dreaming of something different, would be too grim.
It's a very old idea that it's the things you haven't done, the dreams you didn't bring to life, the risks not assayed through action, that you end up regretting. I hate to write about it, for fear that I will jinx us and that we will end up regretting some action we take. But so far that idea has held quite well for us - step out and prosecute life actively, and, whatever might happen, you won't look back wistfully at what might have been.
Intrepid Miles Holmes about to ferry a boatload of kids through some whitewater on New Year's Eve. Elias is second from left.
The scene off Main Beach. It's been blowing hard from the south ever since Boxing Day, so we've been waiting for a northerly change before we head down the New South Wales coast.
I've been getting ever so slightly nostalgic about Iluka, as I come to realize that we don't know if we'll ever spend time here again. This is the road out to Main Beach, which we've walked a hundred times. Doesn't this just look like what a road to an Australian beach should look like?