FROM 2-1. Sydney-Equator

Clank and dammy in the pre dawn gloom

Trepidation builds. It’s raining. It’s 0430 and I’m packing my personal clothing which is a bit of a challenge. We will be needing tropical gear and Arctic gear and all the bits in between. Arctic gear less of a problem because if we eventually get past Coffs and up to Dutch, I can listen to the locals and buy stuff there. Or just go for the towel so as not to panic.

Thursday is the day after tomorrow. Hard to believe and it seems quite different from last time – different conceptually, different obstacles, different travellers but always the same indifferent ocean. And I’m a different person. All seems ghostly, ephemeral, ethereal – how can it be happening? Yet today I must notify Customs 48 hours in advance of departure. HGTTG says DONT PANIC but it’s not so cool and froody when the blender is about to start and you have to figure out a way of ducking the blades.

A cup of tea, perhaps – still a couple of hours before McQ will surface for coffee – the day will be more ragged ends – collecting a year’s worth of prescriptions, more ziplock bags, final shopping, maybe actually reassessing what’s on the boat and taking things off again. The tendency always is to take things if there is any doubt, but there must be a measure of ruthlessness too. And Pete will bring us some home brew Dr C – kind of odd that he’s not coming. I’ve rather grown used to having him around.

And welcome aboard to the kids at Belmore South – it was huge fun talking to you and your teachers last time and I’m looking forward to doing it again.

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