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Archive for August, 2009:

In Australia

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Island Buoy arrived in Australia yesterday afternoon. We are tied up at Rivergate Marina, surrounded by industrial warehouses and office parks. Quarentine and customs went smoothly. Now I have to get my bearings and figure out how to get to Melbourne. Was thinking of going over land but given the sparse time I have flying seems more feasible.

Will update more about the trip over and photos sometime in the future (hopefully).

Fiji

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

FijiI have recently made some decisions to alter the course of my planned trip. I decided to leave Marlin and sail on another boat, Island Buoy, going directly to Brisbane. At the heart of my decision was my desire to get back to California in time to see my brother before he leaves on a year-long trip and my preference to spend my time in Australia rather than Vanuatu and New Caledonia, both of which countries Marlin will be making stops at. I lucked out finding a boat going directly to Brisbane because otherwise I would be flying to Australia. I said I was going to sail to Australia, and doggonit, I still want to finish the job.

Island Buoy is a delivery job. She’s a 30 ft Rayvin catamaran, much shorter than Crystal Blue Persuasion. The skipper is a young South African and the crew member a Canadian. They seem like a fun bunch.

Bringing my trip to a close, I’ve been taking a look at airfare home. I originally intended to use credit from Hawaiian Airlines flight that I booked last year from San Francisco to the Philippines. The ticket I purchased to the Philippines was because I originally intended to start my journey there. When that plan fell through, I canceled the ticket and found that it was neither transferable or refundable. Oh well, I thought, I can just use the credit to fly home from Australia. Not so. As it turns out, the credit is only good between Manila and San Francisco. And I still have to pay a $200 booking fee. This is what happens when you don’t read the fine print. I just took a look at flights from Melbourne to Manila, and it looks like it will still be cheaper for me to fly to Manila in order to use my Hawaiian Airlines credit. But it’s going to be a flying hell. My flight from Melbourne to Manila will have a stop-over in Kuala Lumpar and my flight from Manila to San Francisco will have a stop-over in Honolulu. Is it really worth the distress to save say $500? Should I forget my credit and fly non-stop Melbourne to San Francisco? I haven’t bought my ticket yet because I don’t have my credit card on me, so it’s still up in the air, but I’m probably going to go the cheap route.

It’s about 1500 nautical miles from Denarau to Brisbane and the skipper estimates it will take about 2 weeks. With luck, I’ll be able to meet the Electric Jellyfish on tour in Brisbane. They are the friends that I wanted to visit in Melbourne anyway.

I’ve been enjoying my last days in Suva with my old crew mates Tom and Jan. We’ve hardly left the yacht club because it’s got all the entertainment we like (and jugs of beer are only $5). There are no hard feelings between us. Tom’s looking for crew, but if he doesn’t find any, him and Jan are perfectly capable of sailing Marlin by themselves.

I’ll update everyone back home when I finally have my flight booked.