Yes, we're still alive but have been sucked into the black hole of building quotes, council approvals, construction permits and all the millions of bits n bobs that go with home renovations - and we have not even started yet!
Unfortunately our Antigua 44 Ketch sits all alone back in Borneo while we sit here wading through architectural doodles and engineering drawings and do battle with council thugs over the width of the bricks and whether we're maintaining the cultural heritage values of the area.
If the builder comes back this Friday with a quote that doesn't require the selling of a kidney, my first born and another 30 years of servitude, we'll start immediately and I'll spend the next month demolishing two-thirds of the house, stripping the walls and cutting most of the massive palm trees down to provide access for the cranes and what seems like, every tradie in town.
We're told it will be finished in February but I'm not holding my breath.
The plan is still to renovate and rent the house out while we head off for a few years aboard Australis but for now - its hammer time.
Given that, I'm flying up to Borneo in mid October to sail Australis back to Cairns.
I'm allowing 8 weeks and hoping to be back in our pen by the first week of January and will be looking for two experienced crew to lend a hand. Unfortunately I do require experienced crew as I'll be the only other person aboard but I figure with 3 - we should be fine.
Australis is a solid, safe and extremely comfortable 44' Antigua Ketch with almost two circumnavigations under her keel and a major refit completed late last year. She is well equipped and a great passage maker.
For a quick glimpse, check out:
AUSTRALIS II - Antigua 44 Walkthrough Ketch - YouTube
I will pay for all fuel, permits and vessel costs but would appreciate a crew contribution of approx. $10 per day to cover provisioning. Everything else will be provided.
Helming, sail trimming, taking watches and basically rolling up your sleeves and pitching in wherever required are some of the fundamentals I'm after along with love of adventure, lots of laughter and good conversation.
Crew will be responsible for getting to Borneo and must have a visa entry for Australia.
At present I'm intending to make landfall in Oz at Thursday Island for custom clearance and then a slow trip threading our way through the Great Barrier Reef to Cairns so they'll be lots of diving and fishing on the way.
Crew will have their own twin berth cabin and ensuite including bath
- all with plenty of room to swing the preverbal ships cat and whilst this is in effect a delivery run, I'm also wanting it to be relaxed and without pressure or hassles.
An added bonus could be we get back to Cairns just in time for the crew to help paint the house!
For more details give me a holla.