Wednesday, November 23, 2011

After the Fact

Here's the before and the after.

In Alameda, California:

And, seven months later or so, in Bundaberg, Queensland:

Quite a bit of living (and sailing!) went on between those two photos.

You often hear that circumnavigators find themselves adrift when they finally make it home and their long-sought goal has been reached.  I'll admit to feeling a little bit of that here in Iluka.  There's the sudden loss of focus - whatever else sailing a strange boat across an ocean with your two little boys may do, it certainly makes you focus.  We had a lot of fun on the crossing, but there were also many days, from the start of boat prep in February to the final passage a couple weeks ago, when Alisa and I were flat out, all day, to serve out twin masters of Family Responsibility and Safe Navigation.  Now one of those masters is suddenly gone.  Galactic bobs happily at anchor day after day, with no immediate need for my attention - no gybing, no plotting, no tweaks to the windvane required.  I find myself awake at odd times through the night, failing to sleep through the hours when I used to do these things.

And then there are the after effects from the effort that it took to get here only eight months after the purchase of the boat.  Alisa and I agree that it was almost too much to take on.  Eight months ago we had a Grand Plan confidently plotted out, something that would keep us busy sailing this boat for years and years to come.  But now we agree that we'll be happy to sail to New Zealand next year, and that there's little point in thinking beyond that.  We know something that we didn't know before, or had forgotten - someday the well of our effort will run dry.

I guess that's not too big a sense of transition for the end of such a big trip!

Meanwhile, it's been a joy to see how easily Elias has slid back into Iluka life.  With some mates to play with every day and lots of space to run, his tantrums have nearly disappeared.

(Not Iluka!)


  1. that is great news,
    I am happy for elias!
    ... iluka, I like the name.
    take good care,

  2. The journey comes in two parts, physical and personal. Your blog integrates them both so well, which is what makes it required reading even when Galactic is bobbing at anchor and you are at a loose end (ha!). Who said Grand Plans couldn't be edited? New Zealand sounds like a very acceptable amendment. xx

  3. And after New Zealand... we know how you feel. It's been 18 months since we ran out of money and stopped cruising and said Enough! but now we find ourselves sneakily looking at the Yacht For Sale sections and thinking how convenient it was that we didn't actually sell all our cruising gear after all and instead stored it in a bunker in Canberra.
    And we have that empty mooring in Tasmania.

  4. Hi Mike,

    I caught your interview on ABC and really enjoyed it.

    I am starting a sailing podcast that would be available through iTunes. The podcast has my wife, Carina and I in conversation/interview with people who have been out cruising. We have already completed one interview with Allan Breckall and I have another one scheduled for this week with Kylie, one of the owners of .

    Would it be possible for us to arrange an interview for the podcast with you?

    You can contact me via email at Carina and I think you would a terrific guest to have on the podcast, we would also like to have Alisa on at the same time,

    Thank you,

    David Anderson