Australia! We’ve bloody made it! We sailed into Newcastle just as a front hit us but it wasn’t a biggie, not the nicest way to get back home but we were so excited about arriving safely we didn’t care!
A few have asked why Newcastle? Why not Sydney? Two reasons. First is that Sydney isn’t really set up to handle small craft returning to Australia. They deal with the big boys over there really.
Secondly we joined the Port2Port rally which meant we got a free week at the lovely Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and a lot of support for bringing our boat into Australia. As we needed to pay tax and import fees this was actually a big deal. It can be a long and frustrating task that but the rally organisers have worked with Border Control to make the process very simple.
Australia gets quite a bad rap when it comes to visiting boats. Maybe things were bad in the past but we couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome. That’s not to say they weren’t thorough, they went over every inch of the boat, but they were generally interested in our trip and very professional.
So. We’re back! What’s next? Well we’ve always wanted to sail under the Sydney harbour bridge to mark the end of our trip so we need to get down the coast for that. We also need to sell poor Interlude which we have very mixed feelings about. She’s been such an amazing boat that’s got us safely 2/3 around the world but the reality is we’re pretty broke now and need to sell her and get back to work. We’ll hopefully find her a nice buyer who’ll enjoy her as much as we have but it’s going to be hard to hand over those keys.
First though we’re going to just relax and celebrate having all the major crossings behind us. Coastal passages can of course have their fair share of challenges but if anything does happen you’re always going to be in radio range, and swimming range if you can outrun the sharks!