On December 5—a month ago, if you can forgive me for how behind the blog has become—we sailed 33 nautical miles south from Mooloolaba to Scarborough. Making an early morning start as there were forecasts for 25 knots of wind offshore in the afternoon, we left Mooloolaba's narrow channel under partly cloudy skies with winds from the northeasterly quadrant. The passage was shallow and streaked with sandbars that had us keeping careful watch throughout the day.
As we sailed, coordinating tight gybes downwind like the seasoned cruising team of two years that we have become, the skies cleared, the Glasshouse Mountains spired inland of Queensland's sandy coast, and Helios was sailing as deep in the groove as she ever has been.
Sitting in the cockpit, feeling the boat glide forward and roll easily onto a starboard heel in her happy, steadfast way, I tried to make the most vivid mental movies I could. Dominic and I decided that we would put the boat on the market in Scarborough and these 33 miles underway would be the last we would count under Helios' keel.
Whoa! That's sad news!
We agree. Big time. But we had always planned for a two year trip, and nothing would make us more sad than to see Helios fall into disrepair in a marina while we took time to enjoy some of the comforts of home and refill the sailing kitty. Helios is primed for more adventures, and we won't stand in her way.
After much deliberation, we decided Scarborough was the best place for us to find Helios' new crew. We decided to sell in Australia instead of New Zealand because there are more people here and a larger market. Scarborough is just downriver from Brisbane, Australia's third largest city, and in a protected harbor. We also had friends that were having a positive experience selling their boat in Scarborough and had heard the brokers have a lot of experience selling international yachts.
We were very tempted to cruise all the way down to Sydney, but it would have meant making a lot more southerly mileage and facing higher marina fees.
With our plans heavily in mind, it was bittersweet to keep watch as Dominic maneuvered Helios through the channel into Scarborough's marina. But we were quickly distracted from any melancholy thoughts: there were throngs of blue jelly fish clogging the fairway, a lingerie photo shoot happening next to the boat-lift, winds that piped to 25 knots as we approached the side tie dock, and a friendly neighbor who offered to take us grocery shopping an hour after we arrived. Better busy than bummed!
In the last month, we did some exploring in the Brisbane area (more posts on that to come, get excited for koalas!) and have been getting Helios ready for sale, Dominic more so than me—I flew home in mid-December with two enormous checked bags and have been enjoying a quiet and lovely holiday season at home.
Dominic is going to fly home in mid-January. Beyond that, we'll be dividing our time between Weaverville and the Bay Area, exploring various professional avenues, and trying to maintain the easy pace of the cruising life as much as possible...
Photo caption: Saying good-bye to Helios with one last selfie in Scarborough!