Living the dream

I am posting this story in response to requests from the many friends I have met in Thailand and the zoom meetings this past year.

Besides enjoying the naturist lifestyle my other passions are photography and sailing. In my late teens I sailed on our local lake, racing others on a Saturday afternoon but as in life circumstances change and one goes onto doing other things.

I was at a work conference in Fiji in around 1998 and sitting at the resort watching yachts coming into the bay on sunset and dropping the pick ( anchor) I thought what a great way to travel and see the world. On returning home I reacquainted myself with the local club, climbing on board a small trailer sailor and picking up from some 25 years earlier. It wasn't long and I soon introduced my two eldest children to the sport taking them out on less windier days. Of course there was a motive, I was wanting to buy my own boat and it became much easier at the time to convince my then wife when she had two children pleading as well that we get our own boat.

I bought a 20 ft trailer sailor , one that was very forgiving and we had a lot of fun sailing as well as being competitive under handicap when racing around the cans. I had this boat for 20 years before selling it to a mate as I upgraded to a quicker 24ft yacht. Sailing was much better with the new one as being quicker you were up with the fleet and even passing them as they are all the same class. This boat I have now owned for two seasons.

An elderly couple at the club earlier this year were wanting to embark on a trip down the Murray River, the river being the border between New South Wales and Victoria. One Friday evening the wife said to me" Do you think we are too old for this", my reply was you have dreamt to do this for years, do it while you can. So they did and had a marvellous time.

I always searched the internet yacht for sale pages, looking for what i felt would be an ideal boat. It had to have offshore capabilities, be set up for solo sailing and be between 36-40 ft. The boat I had in mind was a Cavalier 37, the same boat that Kaye Cottee single handed around the world non stop back in around 1988-89.

I came across such a boat in Queensland, was in very good condition and met the criteria that I was seeking. I rang the broker as soon as I spotted it only to be informed I was the third person who had rang and that a fellow was coming to look at it on the coming Friday. It looked like I had missed this opportunity as I was sure it would be snapped up. I sent the broker an email on the Friday morning saying if the guy coming to have a look isn't keen let me know. Within ten minutes I had a reply saying the fellow couldn't make it. I quickly rang the broker and said I will arrange a flight for the following Tuesday and take a look. With some hectic arranging for work, and organising friends to pick me up at the airport and take me to the marina to inspect the boat, I stopped and thought about what I was doing. I then recalled the message I had given my friends when they had reservations in what they were wanting to do. I then realised this was my dream and to do it while I can. So I flew to Brisbane, inspected the boat and then made the call to put in an offer. And the good news was the offer was accepted.

Once home I then realised I needed to find a home for the yacht which I was able to. The marina is around a ninety minute drive but it is a safe marina on a river.  Then it was time to arrange a crew to help with the delivery, but it didn't take much to convince a couple of sailing mates to come along for the ride. I was allowing around two weeks to do the deliver which would cover nearly 2100 klms at sea. It is envisaged the winds will be on the nose coming home.

We were all set to fly last weekend but a Covid lockdown here in Victoria has us not being able to travel more than 5klms from your home unless it is work related. The lockdown is for seven days but more new cases each day I think will extend well past this. Also Queensland will not allow us entry until the lockdown changes.

With the help of the previous owner he has found a private berth at no cost until we can get there and this has been a great relief.

I hope to bring you some updates with pics and videos on the journey down, yes I will be living the dream.

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  1. Great story Steve about one of your many passions. Fortunately I have been able to share a couple of those on your current yacht (naked sailing), and look forward to doing the same on your new one. Hope you get up to QLD soon after this COVID lockdown lifts. Sail safe mate.