Sunday, April 15, 2012

Good Bye

With Mark and Jason    

As we prepare Rutea for the almost 1,200-mile passage to Fiji, we have long lists of tasks and chores that must be completed.  From the simple, like running the jacklines, to the more arduous, like scrubbing the hull and prop, each item gets checked off when completed.  Everyone pitches in to prepare meals for the first few days (after being tied to the dock for five months, it can take two or three days to get our sea legs again and it can be preferable to keep the time spent in the galley to a minimum - to just heat a previously-frozen meal can be a godsend.)  We pour over the weather forecasts, often checking half a dozen websites or more to see if there's any discrepancy between the forecasters - there usually isn't.

One of the things that we have to do but usually isn't written down is saying good-bye to friends.  This may be to people we met here in New Zealand or to people that we've traveled with for the last 10,000 miles.  Either way, it can be bittersweet.  Perhaps it's because of the shared experiences that creates a unique bond that develops between us and the other cruisers we meet but the friendships often become intense quickly.  After sharing adventures, anchorages, meals and stories the time comes when our courses diverge and we say good-bye, possibly forever.  Of course, with cheap and easy communications, we can stay in touch with just a few mouse clicks but there is something poignant in the knowledge that you may never see someone again who was once a close friend.

We did a far more modest provisioning for this passage as compared to previous ones as this one isn't too long and many things are less expensive in Fiji.  Also, since we'll be leaving for San Diego not long after we've arrived, there's no point in having the lockers filled with food  while we're gone..  But our fuel tanks are full (hopefully we'll have to motor very little - the forecast is for 20-25 knots of wind for the entire passage) and we've recommissioned our watermaker.  The jacklines are attached, the running backstays rigged, the main boom preventer installed, the trysail bent to the mast and the rest of the items on the list are checked off.  Once we clear New Zealand Customs, we have to depart within a few hours and that will happen tomorrow.  We're excited to be underway again and look forward to our new adventures. 

Good bye.

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