Craig, a buddy of Kate's from way back, lives in Sydney. He likes to sail and the boats he likes to sail are difficult to manage single-handed. Daysailing is OK, but he really loves to do longer outings. Multi-week outings. Earlier this year, Craig broadcast to all his mates that he had a very nice boat in Thailand and wanted to do a yacht race in Malaysia and was there anyone that could spare a month to do the race with him? Not everyone has the flexibility that Craig's life affords, or is able to negotiate with spouses, partners, employers, children, educational institutions and other obligations to arrange to be away for these lengths of time. We, however, have a flexible schedule and we are very susceptible to suggestions.
"Sign us up," we said. That was March of this year.
Two days from now, we are flying to Krabi (where the boat is). We are going to do some checking out of the refitting that has been done to it, then provision with food, then sail it 450 nautical miles to Langkawi, Malaysia, pick up a few more of the crew, sail a bit further to Port Klang (near Kuala Lumpur), take part in the Raja Muda race, drop off the race crew back in Langkawi then return the boat to its home port in Krabi. Delivery/return crew of five, race crew of ten. We leave November 11th and return December 3rd. Now, this should be an adventure!
We left Melbourne two days ago. Our first stop on the way to Phuket is in Dee Why, a suburb north of Sydney, with our wonderful friend, Amanda. Amanda has set herself up in this heavenly part of the world in a chic, comfortable apartment that is blocks from a few-kilometer-long, golden-sand Nirvana. A surf lifesaving club and a swim club exist along the beach, the latter with a natural-filling, natural-cleaning salt water 50 metre lap pool and kiddie splash pool. The main road that runs along the beach hosts cafés, surf shops, formal restaurants and other little shops. Although many in the neighborhood have jobs that don't involve wearing swimsuits, you will see many come for their morning splash before catching the bus to work. Tourists somehow make their way here from the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, flippers and surfboards tucked under arms, ready to enjoy the gentle waves here. We have landed in Amanda's guest room and are catching up with her until we fly out on Wednesday.
Until then, we are hiking along the headlands between Dee Why, Curl Curl and Freshwater beaches, exploring the neighborhood and titillating Amanda with our company. Isn't she lucky?
|Dee Why sunrise|
|Obligatory Sydney Harbour photo, from the Manly Ferry|
|Gentle waves at Dee Why Beach|
|Salt Water Pool at Dee Why|
|Tidal pools along Dee Why headlands|