Tuesday, November 9, 2010


“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
A few years ago, at Peats Ridge festival, I attended a meditation workshop during which the instructor spoke about how important gratitude is. He suggested that we practice being grateful of all of the positive, wonderful things in our lives rather than focusing on the negative, stressful or difficult things. I have really taken this approach on board (pun unintentional!) and find it so beneficial to live in the moment, grateful of all this life offers me. 

I'm so grateful for having such a loving, supportive, fun, crazy and harmonious family. I love everyone to bits and pieces! We are so grateful that Jez and Tam were able to spend another week with us and that my parents were able to fly up here to visit for a long weekend holiday. 
The party hats came out for our mini-reunion/b'day party!

We took the opportunity of extra crew to take a day sail around Magnetic Island - feeling the wind on our faces and the water moving beneath our hull was a reminder of how great it feels to sail. Not everyone felt as good as us though! Poor Mum and Jez felt pretty crook for much of the trip! We stopped over in Five Beaches Bay (I'm pretty sure we were anchored off Maude's Beach) for lunch. Jez and Tam dove off Anhinga and swam to shore. Everyone else took the sensible option of riding in our little (now blue) dinghy. Jez tried to catch us a fish but nothing was interested again.
We have found many fish swimming about here in the marina. There is a mammoth Barramundi that was attracted to the hundreds of tiny fish which were in turn attracted to a power boat with blue underwater lighting. Rene put his hand in the water to tickle it (apparently it's a tried and tested method) but chickened out when the fish saw him and licked its lips menacingly whilst flicking its large fins and tail.

Anhinga sailing towards Magnetic Island
We all had a beautiful time relaxing, exploring, swimming, eating, chatting, laughing and playing games. Tam had her birthday too so there was much chocolate and merriment all around! It was sad to send Mum and Dad home on the plane but we're so thrilled that they were able to take time off to visit and share in some of our experiences. 

Sewing replacement plastic into our spray dodger.
Jez and Tam stayed with us for a week and were a great help towards getting some of the jobs on the never-ending 'to do' list crossed off. The biggest help was that they sewed a new piece of plastic into our spray dodger (for those non-boaty people, it's similar in purpose to the windscreen of a car). The old plastic had been damaged when we'd had some welding done (another lesson learned there!) and for the past year we've had to peer over the top of the spray dodger rather than look through it. Tamsin became chief deck scrubber - she scrubbed away for days with rust buster to eradicate all of the rust dust which accumulated while we were at the slipway back in May. About half of the deck is now shining and clean :D Jez tried to help too but unfortunately after 5 minutes, had accidentally flicked rust buster into her eye! There was much cursing, crying and freaking out as the acid burnt into her retina. After a trip to the Emergency room, she had a pirate patch over one eye - and the next day, her eye was healed (phew!). She was hesitant to bust rust again and so became a great ship's cook, preparing loads of delicacies for us to munch on! 

While all this was going on, I had a blissful reunion with Boxy Lady, my old car, which I'd given to Jez in June (not realising at that time that we wouldn't be leaving Australia until mid 2011). Oh! How I love driving! All of the places that have taken me hours of sweaty walking and bussing were just a short 10 minute drive away! I raced about to all manner of places, buying supplies for the various jobs that need doing in the next couple of months. 

Cloudy Creek

Before the girls headed further south again, we took a day trip out to the Paluma - a beautiful tropical rainforest just an hour north of Townsville. We took the walk to Cloudy Creek which is crystal clear and very cold! I was struck by how many more critters there are in the rainforest in north QLD - I actually had to wear RID and flick leeches off my ankles regularly. It was at least 5 degrees cooler up in the rainforest - a welcome change to the oppressive heat of Townsville. The end to a perfect day was fish and chips on the beach - a great Australian tradition.  

Now everyone has gone and it's just Rene and I again. Rene is busy busy working at his laptop and I'm managing about 5 different boat projects simultaneously. Anhinga feels so quiet now that everyone has gone. We loved having everyone here with us and can't wait to see them all again for Christmas. It's raining every day now and there's talk everywhere about the cyclone season. I'm trying to stay positive about it all and not get lost in the fear of losing everything. I'm grateful to be living here in such a beautiful place with lovely neighbours in the marina. I'm grateful for having started Ashtanga yoga with a local class - it is like pilates but better! I'm grateful for my family and look forward to my brother and his girlfriend visiting us next month!

Sailbirds soaking up the rainforest energy.


  1. what a great blog!
    here is so many inspirations,

    have a nice time,

  2. ...and we have always been deeply grateful and humble that you chose to come into our lives and all the joy and learning experiences that you have generously given us. We love you, forever and always XO M.