On Wednesday morning, as we drove north from Leeman to Geraldton, I had no idea what was going to happen next. Would we find good people to help reconfigure the watermaker, and to repair the hull? How quickly could we get it done? How much would it all cost?
Underlying all these questions was the biggest question of all: Had it been a good idea to return to shore, risking media attention, hassle and expense, in order to maximise my chances of success on the open ocean? Or would it turn out to be a gamble that failed?
There were many points at which the whole operation could have fallen down. There were so many moving parts that needed to come together – cranes for lifting, trucks for transporting, skilled craftsmen to do the work, not to mention the logistical details of accommodation, transport, and internet access.
Yet somehow, as if by a miracle, it has all been a spectacular success. It has been like surfing a wave of improbability – we were right on the edge, not knowing quite what was going to happen next, but really having no option but to keep moving forwards as the wave gathered momentum. And so here we are, just 3 days after I stood uncertainly on that rickety jetty in Leeman, and we are ready.
Sedna looks as good as new, the watermaker pump moved to a safer location, in a drier locker and protected by a box. The hole in the hull and the damage to the towing eye have been repaired, the paint perfectly colour-matched. My beautiful purple boat is now in the water at the Geraldton Yacht Club, ready for my departure tomorrow morning at 10am local time.
I am delighted that the media have been willing to report on the happy end to this story. A camera crew and newspaper reporter were there at the putting-in today, and more media presence expected tomorrow morning. So great to find media willing to report on a good news, positive story.
Thanks to Lesley for the goodie bag today. Lesley is a friend via Angela Madsen, and very thoughtfully brought a bag containing, amongst other things, a pirate, a shark, and a packet of Tim Tams. The perfect sending-off gifts!
It has been a real pleasure to work with Shane Donagen and Glen Reeves over the last few days. It’s a privilege to know these two consummate professionals who take real pride in their work and go the extra mile without being asked.
And finally, thanks to June, without whom this story might have had a very different ending. Thanks, June, for being my partner in crime, henchwoman, and logistics manager par excellence. Thanks for the moral support, the much-needed laughs, and for sharing the chocolate cake.
And yes, I am writing this blog as I watch the royal wedding on TV. What better way to spend my last night on dry land?!