Sun 14 Nov 2021 09:12
Weather: mostly sunny with showers, windy, mild
Since getting back to Adelaide my focus has been on storing ship. John helped me immensely by taking care of the dinghy, the V-berth mattress and a few other odds and sods. Now the stowage under the V-berth is almost full of canned food, kerosene, and kitty litter. And where the mattress used to be is now taken up with seven storage crates which are also filled with food. According to my spread sheet calculations we have about 80% of my calorific needs for a period of ten months. In the next few weeks I will be trying to squeeze in as much extra food and other stores as I can, while keeping an eye on Sylph’s waterline and trim.
Other projects for the week have included a new trysail and staysail, a boom bag/rain catcher, and a clear acrylic screen to be fitted to the rear of the dodger to provide some additional protection in the companion way area. The boom bag and sail are almost complete and will hopefully be fitted next week.
While mostly everything is coming together, one area in which I am making no headway is the saga about obtaining permission from the Department of Agriculture to allow Oli to accompany me on the voyage. While the people I am dealing with in The Department are no doubt conscientious and competent public servants they certainly have done nothing to challenge my stereotypical conception of the bureaucrat. Indeed, Franz Kafka’s “The Castle” keeps coming to mind when I think of the impregnable fortress of circular arguments and perverse logic that these bureaucrats have built around themselves. My intuition is that if I keep fighting they will somehow find a way to scuttle my voyage altogether so I am inclined to think that if I want to get away next month I am going to have to find an alternative solution. At this stage I am requesting an export permit to take Oli to New Zealand with a view to completing the circumnavigation and then continuing on to NZ without stopping at Australia. However, I suspect The Department is going to find some reason to object to this solution as well. I am too far down the path now to give up on the voyage so if The Department manages to throw another spanner in the works I think I might have to seriously consider finding someone who could to look after Oli for me while I am away. But I have been down that road before with Robinson Crusoe and I eventually had to give him up, definitely not something I want to do again. And the voyage just would feel all wrong without a ship’s cat. Dilemma!
Nonetheless I remain hopeful that a solution will present itself between now and our departure date.
All is well.