sit right back
you'll read a tale
tale of a fateful trip,
started from a frozen port,
this tiny ship.
did we get into this mess I can just imagine many people asking. A
small catamaran, two cats and a husband/wife crew sailing from Virginia
in the USA to Australia.
Well, it all comes down to me (the husband)
wanting to sail across the Pacific for well over a decade. Well before
I met my wife and well before she ever wanted to set foot on a sail
We met in 2004, I was in Australia, she was in the USA and we
met on a science forum. I went to the USA in December of 2005 and we
got married. I came back while she stayed to continue
and she joined me in Australia. I convinced her to come to Australia
because, "hey, Australia doesn't have natural disasters". Infamous
words as time would later reveal.
Since she'd been in a big L.A. earthquake, a hurricane and
tornadoes, she figured Australia might just work out.
stayed in Australia for about five years and managed to get caught in
the middle of one of the worst bushfires in history. We managed to live
through it and save our house and along with a neighbour save a few
others as well. There is a bushfire link down there, so you can read
about that seperately.
Anyway, we figured it was time for a
change and we moved to the USA, opened a restaurant, and generally
worked out butts off to go backwards.
So after the sale of the house
we lived in during the bushfire, we decided to see what we were going
to do. The plan was to stay in the USA for a lot longer but as it
happens the wife's permanent residency visa in Australia was about to
expire. After spending a lot of money on fixing the house in
Virginia, as well as getting the cars all sorted out we found out we
have to get back to Australia by July 2014. We applied for the visa
extension but she missed out on the required 2 years of living in Oz,
PR, by a couple of months. That holiday we took to the USA for near 3
months ended up not counting as part of the two years so we were told
she can't get it extended. They also just changed the rules, prior to
that it was 1 year and she would have qualified. Even when abroad you
have to follow policy overseas. If they changed the rules imho it
should be if you leave Oz after the change the new rules apply. If you
left Oz before the change you should still be on the old rules. makes
sense to me but this is government and it's not meant to make sense. So
we got caught in the middle.
To cut a long story
short, we weren't going to leave the cats behind - Gracie, my wife's
older cat, and Spaz, the little kitten that decided she was adopting
us. Trust me when I say she is appropriately named. Too many pets
die in aircraft in the USA and the general attitude of the airlines is
to give you a free ticket or a discount on your next airfare. Not going
to trust any company with such an attitude towards loss of life. Thus,
we looked at our options and the wife has known for many years that my
goal was to sail the Pacific so the solution came pretty quickly.
don't like monohulls. I understand a lot of people do and they dislike
catamarans as much I dislike monohulls. To each his own.
ourselves a highly renowned catamaran that is relatively little known.
The Catalac. Made in the UK by Tom Lack. Cat'a'lack...get it?
Americans didn't like the name, so sales were low here but the boat is
great. Strong, seaworthy and safe. Just what we wanted.
So in September 2013 we transfered the funds to a broker and secured
our boat, sight unseen, but with the option to bail
if it's not in the condition described
travelling part of our story starts in Virginia. Two men in freezing
conditions followed by the wife and cats, who would meet up with me
later in North Carolina.
And there you have it. From there, we
started Captain's logs almost daily to keep friends and family
informed. The email list kept growing.
Aparantly, we're like watching a train wreck so the audience is
building and keeping an email list was becoming a problem.
Apart from that, we got our first spam on the email because
email address was harvested by some bot.
was enough for me to bite the bullet, get a website, and start
documenting it that way. Makes it easier to keep track of where we were
and are, as well as post pictures.
original emails in the email list are reporduced here with corrections
for grammar, spelling, and, most importantly, comprehension. I was
writing them after long cold days on the boat or early frozen mornings
so in neither case was comprehension a big winner. We're still editing
them so no need to point out mistakes. You'll be writing long emails.
position. Courtesy of George
Yes, this is a boat, frozen in water. That day I literally walked on
water like some other famous guy.
The boats namesake, Spaz our nutty cat.
Gracie our possibly more sane or nutty cat. We're not sure yet as she
likes big waves.