Thursday 4 May 2017

When life serves you lemons, make lemonade.

It’s that time of the year. Boats are already heading north to the Great Barrier Reef cruising grounds and the tropical sunshine in advance of the coming Australian winter. Many more, including a number of our friends, are in the final stages of preparations before they cast off to head east into the Pacific and towards the delights  of New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
Our Dreamtime has been back from her 2016 northern adventures since Christmas and many people are now asking us ‘Where are you going next?’ and ‘When are you off again?’. These are questions we have been avoiding answering. Why?
Well, it’s now approaching seven years since Rob walked out of the office for the last time and we began our new life afloat. After a year of crewing on other peoples’ yachts in South East Asia and Europe, we partnered up with our British mate, Marc, and spent two seasons sailing Alcheringa around the western and central Mediterranean visiting  Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, France and Italy before the boat was sold in Sicily.
Sailing Alcheringa through the Straits of Gibraltar
We then returned home to Australia, acquired the beautiful Whitby 42 ketch Our Dreamtime and kitted her out for extended cruising before spending much of the last two years cruising Australia’s incredible Great Barrier Reef.
Our Dreamtime is not only our pride and joy but also our home.
These six plus years have simply flown by. Unfortunately boats being boats, some things have cost much more than we expected during this time and the depressed real estate market in our area has meant the return we have received on our investments has also not met expectations. Such is life. It has been an incredible period of our lives and we regret absolutely not one moment of it.
Our Dreamtime at North West Island, Great Barrier Reef
In fact we feel so fortunate to have had been able to go and live our dreams in this fashion. Most of our friends have not been able to break free of the 9 to 5 shackles and are still procrastinating about what they’ll do ‘one day’. Others were tragically robbed of the opportunity to pursue their dreams by the insidious scourge of cancer and other health issues. Life is to be lived and that’s exactly what we’ve done to the very fullest since we became full time cruisers.
We've had over six amazing years as full time live aboard cruisers
We feel blessed to have had the opportunity sailed to so many remote paradises

However after returning from our aborted passage to Papua New Guinea’s Louisiade Islands last year we have faced the reality that the expensive mechanical issues that had beset us on that trip had drained much of what remained of our cruising kitty. To continue sailing we needed to do something about topping up the money supply or we would eventually find ourselves broke and possibly stranded in some far off island paradise. - Hang on. That might not be so bad.
Back to reality. The Louisiades are definitely unfinished business for us and we WILL sail there but reluctantly we decided to not plan any cruising for the immediate future and, instead, re-enter the workforce and concentrate on improving the state of our finances for a while. The thought of getting back into a collar and tie five days a week so to speak isn’t all that appealing but if a pause means our dream life can continue so be it. Having bitten the bullet both of us began applying for positions in the corporate world.
Now normally when someone’s resume indicates they haven’t had a job since 2010, prospective employers wonder what they have been doing for the last few years.  Most naturally suspect something untoward such as ‘He must have been in jail’ or other equally unattractive alternatives. We knew we couldn’t just leave it blank but we’d love to know what recruitment officers think when they open our CVs and read “2011 to 2016 – Took a sabbatical break to go sailing  around South East Asia, Europe and the Great Barrier Reef”.
Despite our unorthodox recent employment history, we’ve been called for interviews, short listed, second interviewed and Rob has just missed a few good management positions. Our lack of immediate success did have us wondering if we shouldn’t again just say ‘Stuff it. Let’s go sailing anyway.’ After all, that’s how we launched our cruising life back in 2010 when our initial plans to buy a boat and sail off were thwarted.
We kept at it though, emailing job application after application but meanwhile something unexpected happened. We were asked to deliver a 37 foot yacht 800 nautical miles from Southport to Cairns. Away we went. Who would have thought we could go sailing and MAKE money instead of spend it. Mission accomplished, we were back on the job hunt but also began to wonder what other sailing opportunities might be out there.
It’s amazing how you can live the life you want if you’re determined enough and think outside the square. Our sailing life is about to follow a detour sign for a while rather than stop at a red light.
In a few weeks, we will be flying to the Greek Isles to sail a 37 foot yacht leading a flotilla charter for the northern summer. BRING IT ON!
Details to follow.
The end of any day is always followed by a new dawn.

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  1. Wow , that sounds so exciting , its amazing how things fall into place , well done we look forward to reading about your newest adventure
    cheers Petra

    1. Thank you Petra, yes it is amazing the Ol' saying as one door closes another opens. In this case it's just an amazing opportunity to complete some unfinished business. We felt that we could have done more in the eastern med and this is just perfect. Thanks for your support you and Brian are great people and we are so pleased our paths have crossed. on When life serves you lemons, make lemonade.
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  2. As someone who had to change their plans we wholeheartedly agree! What an exciting summer you'll have! We'll see you August/September. Give us a hoy is we can help x

    1. Thanks Jane. We are certainly looking forward to it.

  3. Just goes to show, you make your own luck!

  4. Thanks Tusc, My Dad drummed into me many years ago 'the harder you work, the luckier you'll be'.


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