This morning the alarm went off early. My boat had been parked overnight in the front garden of our hosts, Don and Margaret Ferguson, and after a quick breakfast we were on the road by 7am and heading north to Geraldton in search of people with the skills to help us get Sedna back out to sea. Don drove the flatbed truck, while June and I followed on behind in a borrowed ute (Australian for pickup truck), reassured to see that Sedna didn’t budge from her position on the flatbed, set in position with tyres and straps.
We arrived in Geraldton a little after 9am. We didn’t really know what was going to happen next. We had a couple of phone numbers gleaned from contacts, but didn’t know who would be willing, ready and able to help us out on our ridiculously tight deadline to get me back out to sea before the weather window closes.
But it seemed a good start to go and park a large purple rowboat in the marina and see what happened. The strategy worked.
We called the numbers that we had been given. Contacts led to other contacts. People dropped by at the marina to take a look at the boat and evaluate the work. By early afternoon we had a fibre glass guy, Shane Donegan, to sort out the damage inflicted yesterday, and a marine electrician, Glen Reeves, to relocate the watermaker pump.
Along the way, I had also managed to fit in a couple of TV interviews and one radio interview, still trying to emphasise the point that yesterday’s tow-in was NOT a rescue, but a pre-emptive move to avoid future problems with the watermaker.
By the end of the afternoon, Sedna had been safely delivered to the fibre glass workshop, Don had been able to reclaim his flatbed truck, work was well underway to fix up Sedna’s hull and broken oar, and we had a detailed plan for the watermaker reconfiguration. I was infinitely more relaxed and optimistic than I had been around 3am last night. Things were looking good. We now expect that Sedna will be back on the water on Friday, and that I will restart my row on Saturday morning from Geraldton.
I am writing this blog in the kitchen of two new good Samaritans, the Gangells (appropriately, rhymes with angels), who are putting us up for the night. It’s hard to believe that this morning I had no idea how we were going to get me and Sedna back out to sea. I was in an unfamiliar town, in an unexpected situation, with nothing but a few new friends to help me out. But sometimes a few good friends are all you need.
One of the surprise bonuses of being back on dry land at this stage is that I got to see Colin Leonhardt’s fantastic video of the final preparations and departure from Fremantle. Great job, Col, and I am so pleased you are going to be coming up to Geraldton for Departure Take Two.