|These signs are all over Far North Queensland!|
OK, even though there are crocodile warning signs next to ANY small body of water and beach in Far North Queensland the title of this blog is not in relation to that danger.
It's in relation to the Louisiades Rally we're just about to depart on!
The past 9 days or so have been a whirlwind of activity. Someone wrote one time, and I think it came from the Louisiades Rally enrolment form, that; "if you wake up one morning and find you've got nothing else to prepare or fix on your boat - then don't worry about it. You're dead."
We certainly felt like that when leaving Sydney to start on the coastal cruise. It's even more pronounced when getting ready to leave for somewhere 4 days sail away, for a planned 30-35 day stay with no stores and no real help - at all - anywhere! I've spent the past days provisioning which means cooking and freezing and buying and making lists. The Captain has spent them tweaking and repairing and loading and, and, and.
The only absolutely wonderful stupendous time of the whole past 9 days was last weekend which we spent in Tim's house taking care of his dog while he went to Brisbane for the weekend. I don't think I can explain in a few words just how special the 3 nights we spent there actually were! First to be able to walk around a room - a number of rooms - and have SPACE! Heaven. And then to have a magnificent and beautiful Lab dog jump into bed to greet the morning with you while showering you with unconditional JOY at being alive. Magnificent licks and tail wags and jumps on and off the bed! ... Loved it so so much. I miss my Molly dog at home a lot.
|The beach only a block or two from Tim's house - walking Callie in the evening. Unfortunately just up the beach from where I took this picture is one of those crocodile signs where a dog was actually taken a while back!|
So, back to 'Take a Breath and Don't Panic' .... the past two days we've been in 5 hour seminars regarding the trip run by the rally organisers. The people running this month long cruise are executing well all aspects of this complicated trip - while doing everything in their power to make sure each and every individual boat/skipper understands that it is THEIR responsibility to take care of themselves, their crew and their boat. Over these two days we've sat through one presentation after the other on how bad it can get out there in the Coral Sea. Each day ends with story after story of boats that have been lost - run on to the reef, dis-masted, knocked down and generally blown to hell and back in 40 and 50 knot winds! And every day I leave the seminar wanting so badly to say to my skipper, "That's it. I'm not going!" But I don't.
I've already had one colossal meltdown. Earlier last week Catherine - who is joining us on the cruise and the person I'm depending on to help me get through this ... and who is coming all the way from the Isle of Skye to join us .... sent an email with her flight details which I interpreted wrongly. I thought she wouldn't get here in time ... just missing customs clearance by a day. Even with steely determination to not panic before I talked to her - I lost it. Big Time. Tears. Sobs. When I couldn't get Catherine on the phone I even called my sister-in-law, Angela .. in Ireland .. to check my assumptions with the flights (as usual, she was wonderful and helpful even though it was 11 pm at night her time. Love you Angela!). Needless to say, Catherine and I spoke later that morning and she assured me she would be here in time... just.
The Captain - my husband - has many great qualities. However, outward displays of empathy and/or compassion isn't one of them. So, unfortunately, I'm not getting anywhere near my quota of reassurances from him.
The others on the trip are lovely... a very diverse group with so many interesting people. Additionally the people and the sights in the Louisiades islands we've heard about sound so special that I really want to go. But the thought of it scares the absolute HELL out of me!
I keep thinking that perception and reality are just a product of the way we PERCEIVE it to be - to ourselves. The way we couch it in our self talk. So, I'm doing all I can to keep saying this mantra to myself, "Take a Breath, Don't panic, It will be OK."
We leave this Saturday morning at 10:00am. I will make it. I will enjoy every minute. It is the trip of a lifetime. Take a breath, don't panic, it will be OK.