Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 28 Nov 2021 11:09
Position: Alongside RSAYS
Weather: Sunny, moderate SE winds, mostly warm
We now have 113% of our calorie needs on board for a ten month voyage. Over the  next two weeks before our departure we will fine tune some of our supplies and squeeze in as much as we can reasonably fit in the space left over.
Other less domestic preparations have included securing most of Sylph’s lockers and hatches; making progress, albeit slow, on repairing the series drogue; and fitting a new acrylic window to the rear of the dodger turning it into a mini pilot house. The last item I think will improve the comfort level on board significantly by preventing rain and spray getting below in following wind and seas, though I doubt it will survive a large grey beard climbing in over the stern. Hopefully we might be spared such an event, or at least spared it too early in the voyage, and will get some useful service out of the window. Another less comfortable item of preparation has been a visit to the dentist to have a couple of crowns fitted over some cracked teeth. Uncomfortable maybe, but I figure it is a seamanlike precaution.
I have also again managed a relatively active social life over the past week. On Tuesday I attended a talk at the British Hotel with the Paul McGuire Library Association given by a cruising couple who have extensive high latitude sailing experience, including a rounding of Cape Horn. It was very helpful to obtain some information from people with first hand
experience of sailing in the Southern Ocean and particularly rounding Cape Horn.  On Wednesday I enjoyed dinner with my new friend, Rob, and his wife, Leslie, aboard their beautiful Northshore 38, Inukshuk. Rob will be departing the Squadron in early December to compete in the Sydney to Hobart race in its new short-handed division. Friday was Mark Sinclair’s farewell event at Jimmy’s Bar celebrating his forthcoming departure to round the Horn and then sail on to France to complete the Golden Globe Race 2018’s
Chichester Class and then compete in GGR 2022. And this weekend Sylph and I sailed in company with the club’s ‘SheSails’ group to berth alongside a public marina in Port Adelaide’s inner harbour where we enjoyed a convivial evening once more at the British. Also over the last week in amongst all this hectic social activity I have made another new friend, Vickie, who kindly offered to look after Oli.
Speaking of which, this aspect of my voyage preparations continues to go not so well. The Department has categorically told me that if I bring Oli back into Australia without stopping at another country and then following prescribed regulations for importing Oli from that country, then they will exterminate Oli and charge me with illegally importing a live animal. It seems if I leave with Oli I will not be able to return with Oli. So now I am
very reluctantly coming to the conclusion that it might be in Oli’s best interest to find someone to mind him while I am away. Unfortunately, most people who would be willing to look after Oli, i.e. cat lovers, already have at least one cat, and it is generally agreed that adult male cats, neutered or otherwise, don’t mix very well. Vickie was one generous soul who was willing to try the experiment and this afternoon we took Oli out to her place to see how he and Thomas might get along. I can report that the experiment, while not a complete failure, did not go so well, in so far as while it did not result in a furious flurry of flying fur, it did lead to a lot of growling and the odd hiss. Vickie was willing to continue the experiment further; however, I was more reluctant, not only for Oli and Thomas’ sake but also for Vickie’s. So Oli is now back on board Sylph. I have one more option in mind but we will see how that pans out next week.
All is well.