Two major milestones accomplished today: First, the split crew of Tahina has been rejoined at last. Frank is back on board with Karen and Trisha. And, second, Karen has completed her first passage as sole skipper (without Frank on board). Although she has sailed more than 30,000 miles, this was the first time she did a trip on her own. We knew she had the skills, but she finally got to put them to the test. She passed with flying colors! Way to go Captain Karen!
She left Lizard Island on Tuesday, but for the first time in a long time, my weather navigation was defeated by the Australia wind gods. Instead of 10-15 knots of easterly wind, she ended up with 20+ knots of SSE winds (on the nose for the direction of travel). Karen consulted with one of our nearby friends, the crew of s/v Boree, and they suggested she pull into the nearby Cape Bedford. She had to wait a day and half there for the weather to improve before leaving on Thursday.
Today, Friday, Karen brought Tahina into the Cairns river and set the hook in the anchorage. I was eagerly awaiting them to pick me up in the dinghy. But, we had a problem. Karen and Trisha couldn’t get the dinghy to start! I tried trouble shooting over the phone, but it wouldn’t go. So, I searched the Internet for a water taxi. No luck. One of the former companies does rent boats though, so I rented a boat for an hour for $50. Made my way out there in the 6hp motor of the little rented boat, and figured out the problem with our dinghy motor. The fuel bleed valve had been shut off and it had created a vacuum. 2 minutes later I had our dinghy going, and actually towed the rented boat back to the marina with our dinghy.
It’s great to be back with the family and on the boat. I’m still having to take the antibiotics, and pain relievers because of the irritation of the toxic chemicals. But, its nice to be at home instead of in a hospital or hotel.