Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Where Are We Going?

In a few short days the girls and I will fly back to Australia to rejoin Erik and Papillon. In a perfect world, the plumbing would be plumbed, the electricals electrified and the chartplotter plotted. In reality, I expect I'll be back in my ratty t-shirt and shorts, grubbing around in the bilge by Hour 3 of our return. That's okay. I got to skip the fun of two tins of pineapple exploding in a locker on a hot day last month, so I suppose I owe Erik some help.

I hear you asking: "Where are you going?" Historically, I have always had an answer to this question. I should say: I've always had an answer to this question, even though I knew the plan I was earnestly explaining had a non-zero probability of being chucked out at any moment. So much can interfere with planning: weather, family, the prospect of interesting work. But this time, dear reader, this time I think I am almost certainly giving you the straight goods. It's an exciting day for optimism and not learning from the past. And since I currently have the option of either a) packing our bags or b) writing this post, well. I'd be delighted to walk you through it.

The boat is currently in Brisbane. Erik is working like a mad fiend getting her ready to sail. Fixing old things, adding new things, throwing out as much junk as possible - this has been his life for the past six weeks. Once we are ready to go, we'll toodle around the Brisbane area, hopefully heading out to Moreton Island for a bit of a swim. Why can't we swim in Brisbane? Because the Brisbane River is chockablock with bull sharks, of course! (Aside: Australians get really snippy about the general perception of Australia being full of animals that want to kill you. Well, I'm sorry, Oz - I love you, but the evidence is in.)

Once cyclone season is over , we'll head north to enjoy the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef. Then it's on to a massive reprovisioning in Cairns to last us until South Africa. I see you looking at my handy map. Why not reprovision in Darwin? Or Broome? Well, campers, because the northern part of Australia is populated entirely by saltwater crocodiles, that's why! Oh, you don't believe me? Even their state government says so:

Frankly, I'm not interested in getting eaten by a croc. So we're skipping everything until we reach the Kimberley. Which is gorgeous, but also full of crocs. So no swimming there, either.

By now, the Papillon crew will be smelling a little ripe. So it's off to the Cocos Islands, where crocs are a rarity. Then it's time to cross the Indian Ocean, heading for Mauritius and Rodriguez. We don't plan to get further north than British Indian Ocean Territory, because there is the small matter of pirates to be considered. Pirates rate down there with saltwater crocs and aggressive sharks. No thank you. So no Mediterranean for us.

We'll stop in Madagascar, enjoy the ring-tailed lemurs, then continue to South Africa. Due to the weather patterns there, we'll have to hop down the coast in short bursts to hide from gales. Sail and hide, sail and hide, all the way to Cape Town.

Phew! Doesn't that sound exciting? I know I'm looking forward to it.

Now let's see how accurate this plan really is.


Anonymous said...

Glad to see you'll soon be sailing again. As an armchair cruiser I follow a few blogs and I enjoy your writing style and balance of sailing details vs travel description the most. While it's too late for me to cruise with kids, mine are in college, your blog has inspired me to discuss with them the possibility of choosing a lifestyle other than the default college, job, house on the cul de sac until you retire, then move to Florida, routine that so many of us fall into without ever giving any real thought to other possibilities. You've shown that you don't have to forego having children to do something more interesting.

Mike said...

Good to know we will be hearing about your adventures again!

Nicolas Turcotte said...


Sherry Howard said...

I'm a fellow Reider and needed to see more details of your travel. Many people talk about doing what you're doing, but few actually follow through. You and your hubby must be very brave and adventurous, and have a high tolerance for uncertainty. I loved reading this!

Cathy said...

Dearest Schaeffer family
How wonderful for you all that your great adventure is beginning again. May the wind always be at your back; may the mechanics work; may the crocs be far from your hull; and may God hold you in the palm of his hand until we meet again.
Much love, Garey and Cathy

Catherine VK4GH said...

Curious to know if you considered going up to Thailand, Sri Lanka, Chagos, then to South Africa? Did not want to go that far? Did not want to take another year? Sick of the tropics?

Anonymous said...

Good site.