Melbourne was definitely cold! It was fantastic catching up with my brother and his family and having a crew reunion with Oscar. He has grown a lot taller but otherwise is the same super crew member and nephew from the trip Darwin to Cape Town. We were there for his 16th birthday which was great as his 15th had been on the boat with us in the Indian Ocean! We mostly just hung around the house interspersed with trips to markets via pubs and meals out – and it was just what we wanted. My niece, lovely Ella, had just arrived from Europe to take up life in Melbourne so luckily we got to see the whole family – not so usual with my lot. Mark is busy back and forth between Melbourne and Luxembourg where he has a new beer brewing company and Annabelle is working on her photography, specialising in classic cars and their owners.
After Melbourne was three days in Brisbane to get organised to leave. Dinner with the Dockside larrikins: Cath and Mike from Black Magic and the marina managers Bob and Shona. Lucky we saw Gordon and Lyn last time as they couldn’t make it this time. My old family friends Veronica and Jock invited us for dinner the last night so we were able to pack everything up and not worry about leftovers.
The flights back to LA and Miami went well. Our two days in Miami turned in to 5 thanks to Hurricane Matthew! This hurricane had been threatening The Windward Islands while we were in Australia and we had been a bit concerned for the boat. But it only formed up in the Caribbean Sea then headed towards Miami the day after we arrived! All the hotels were heavily booked with stranded travellers and rescue type people and we ended up moving 5 hotels in 6 nights! A bit exhausting after a bout of jet lag. ANYWAY we arrived here safely and are now getting the boat ready to go back in the water.