We are so fortunate to have spent time with family, friends and colleagues, enjoying being tourists in Sydney at Neutral bay and Clontarf and of course a great session at The Oaks with fellow FP owners and Med sailors. We had a lovely trip to Airlie Beach with very little rain this year but lots of passionfruit - all that seems so long ago…
We had an amazing trip to Antarctica and South Georgia, which really must be on everyone’s bucket list. Truly awesome - another world – it was like being in an news-free bubble, particularly given what happened next... With the trip ending in mid-March it felt like there was the world before Antarctica and the world after Antarctica. We are so grateful to have made it back home safely as this is really the best place to be right now. The loss of lives and livelihoods is tragic, the disruption and isolation is painful and no doubt taking its toll, it’s bringing out the best and worst in people. The creativity and kindness that has emerged gives us hope for the future and we find ourselves having a much greater appreciation for the small things that we used to take for granted, like a walk along the beach on a sunny day (1.5m apart of course…)
Meanwhile what of ITIKI and our plans for 2020? Fortunately ITIKI is out of the water on the hardstand and well protected at Artemis Boatyard in Greece. Our most likely scenario is that there is no season 2020 and we will not be able to return again until the start of season 2021. We are mentally prepared for this possibility and dare not think of an even worse case, but still we can dream and plan just in case there is a small window of opportunity to get back. Even if it was only for 2-3 months on the water, even if we stayed through till November (and it snowed), even if it was the height of the Meltemi season, even if we have to be locked in an airless IBIS hotel shoebox for 2 weeks on return (BTW Rumours that the Meltemi has been cancelled due to Covid-19 are unfortunately “fake news”…)
So we are keeping ourselves amused, in the meantime. I have been tidying up the website and writing a few non-travel blogs which will come out over the next little while. We have both been enjoying walks on the beaches and the peace and quiet of South West Rocks. Keith has been playing handyman around the house and working on his golf handicap. He has also been planning (dreaming?) a possible route for us to take if we do get back for a short stint. Well that work won’t be wasted as we can always do it next year.
Needless to say we are watching the situation in Greece pretty closely. The official statistics are not looking too bad, and Orthodox Easter was a watershed for them. Right now all ports are closed and yacht movement prohibited. Only residents are allowed to travel to the islands, and rightly so. They are easy to isolate and with limited medical facilities would be hard hit if infection got through to them. In any case our own government is not likely to let us out of the country for some time to come. For now, we can only wait and watch, accept and enjoy life as it is in our beautiful home away from ITIKI, South West Rocks - and Mum’s excellent home cooking! What more could you want?
Lynda is slowly getting used to the transition from working to not working and racing to cruising.