A few months ago Mark made a comment that getting to Australia was like the end of the first book of the LOTRs. Because of the way the wind and weather works many of the people that are sailing in Australia today are the same one's we sailed with in the Caribbean nearly three years ago but, Australia gives a lot of options as to where to go next and so this adventure is ending and new one's are beginning. Many of us have spent the last few years crossing paths and are now planning to go different directions. Some will stay in Australia for the year or more, some will go north to Indonesia and others south to South Africa, and then there are those that will end their sailing adventure all together and head home. Mark and I aren't sure what we are going to do with this year. We've decided to take it a little at a time with MM to make sure he is getting what he needs.
Some of those friends I'm speaking of are Frank and Karen on Tahina. Almost three years ago Mark and I sat in a restaurant in Iles Des Saints, Guadaloupe where everyone was speaking French. Mark and I were discussing the preparations we'd need to make for crossing the Pacific. At the table next to us sat Frank and Karen who were in the processing of planning the exact same journey and overheard our conversation. Over the last few years we have crossed paths over and over again. In the beginning it was by accident and eventually on purpose whenever possible. I've written a lot about friendships out here. They come and go very quickly as people move on. They are usually short and intense and then gone. This friendship has been anything but that. Little did we know sitting at that table how important they would become to our sailing experience. We've been lucky to have spent so many days exploring and nights playing Bananagrams with them.
We got lucky today because we got to see them one last time. They will be making the run to Indonesia next month and because most people who will be doing that have already moved north we've missed many of the other boats we know. I thought there might be a chance that Tahina was still in the Whitsunday's but didn't have e-mail access. I took a chance last night and radioed to see if I'd get a response and I did. I was excited but they were planning to head north today and we were a couple hours south of them so I didn't think we'd actually get to meet up. This morning Frank gave us a call and said they would come south to have lunch with us. They came two hours south just for lunch and added that distance onto the journey north they were already planning, turning a long day passage into a 24 hour overnight passage. Those are good friends and out here that's hard to come by. It was sad to see Tahina