The term we often use for things left undone or incomplete. A vacuum to be filled before resolution is found and there is completion, peace and wholeness. Freespirits’ unfinished business is a date with the tropics. Dropping anchor in crystal clear warm waters, the gentle lapping of the waves against the hull and the soft warm tropical breezes caressing her topsides. A swim with the tropical fishes and a barbecue on the beach among the palm trees.. these are my muse for a voyage up the long Eastern coast of Australia.
Friends, it is my great pleasure to announce that Freespirit is currently being readied for yet more new adventures!!
Fully recovered, with a reconditioned heart and a burning desire for new landfalls, her skipper is also ready for new adventures. Having discovered the jewel that is Tasmania and lost my heart to a Tassy native, one could be mistaken for thinking I’d given up the sea for a landsman’s life… but no, I may be readying my ship for the sea once more and leaving the apple isle soonish ….. but I feel that I now have a home, a place to return to when I’m done seeking landfalls and warmer climes… a place to drop anchor and rest among friends and family. This is a wonderful thing and to be cherished. For make no mistake I have found peace and love here. A place I can be me.
Along the way new landmarks will be set…. my first time sailing the NSW coast… the arrival in Sydney harbour that marks the full circumnavigation of Australia for Freespirit which began in October 2005 with then owner Bruce Fenney. Now some 10 years later she at last will sail proudly back into Sydney Harbour from whence she came. It will be an amazing moment.
It will also be my third time visiting the Great Barrier Reef, but my first in my own boat. It is a beautiful part of the world up there and the timing of this voyage celebrates my return to health and full enjoyment of the new life I have been given, through the skilled hands of my heart surgeon and the wonders of modern medicine. I feel humbled and very blessed to be given another chance to celebrate life and the act of living once more.
Ok, enough of the warm and fuzzy stuff!
Freespirit has had some major work done to her since arriving here, not the least is the much written about hard dodger that now sits proudly upon her coach house roof. Next I’ve recut an old #1 Genoa that had a badly damaged leach and foot into a versatile ‘Yankee’ cruising sail.
This sail mounted on the roller furling is now 237 square foot and can be rolled up quickly should unpleasant weather make a sudden appearance. I found out whilst sailing in the Southern Ocean that a cutter rig is the best configuration for a cruising sailboat as it allows the most flexibility and control… particularly when short handed.
A Cutter rig uses two headsails instead of just one, splitting up what is normally a large area into a number of smaller, more easily handled units. This gives more flexibility and better balance to the rig in any given conditions.
Two reconditioned winches now have been added to the cockpit to permit this new configuration to work efficiently. In addition I’ve also done some major work in making a complete cover for my dinghy and its inflatable skirt. This wasn’t easy and took some time to do, though I’m now pretty happy with the result.
This last few weeks have been a bit of a blur as I’ve made changes and caught up on maintenance issues that have accumulated over the last two years that Freespirit has been inactive. I’m happy to report that though the task daunted me… the end is in sight.
Though Dini won’t be sailing with me to ‘the big island’ I do have a replacement crew who will help me get Freespirit up there in one piece. Dini will be flying up and joining me in August for some quality time in paradise. Thats the plan, man.
So what have I been up to in the meantime?
I’ve been playing music!
My old mate Dave and I have revived the Folk Music Scene in Hobart with a once a month show that is now attracting large crowds. An eclectic place where muse’s can play and be appreciated the Folknite fills a need in the Hobart music community.
Riding my bike and quality time with my lady.
Never far from our favourite things to do is take the Black Beast out for a run in the fabulous Tassy countryside.
Its gorgeous, its made for motorcycles and its relatively uncrowded…. heaven.
If you have never ridden Tassy you haven’t ridden the best roads in Australia…. there is hardly a straight bit in it… wonderful. Dini and I really enjoy our time on two wheels and why not? With so many great roads, fabulous scenery and so accessible why wouldn’t you?