Christmas is not the time to leave your family and friends in the UK and head back to Australia and it’s also not the time to suddenly sell your unit in Sydney and have to move 1000 kms to Queensland where you don’t know anybody. I’m afraid we didn’t as much as buy a present or hang up a decoration this year and it would have passed us by if not for our cruising family.
We met Del and Gary in Taha’a in French Polynesia in 2009 when they joined us to celebrate our birthday. They were bringing their Bavaria 49, T Rex, back from Croatia when we were bringing Drimia back from the Caribbean. We’ve kept in touch since then and were delighted to meet them in 2014 in Greece where we ended up tying Matilda alongside their Lagoon 410, Panormitis.
Panormitis and Drimia anchored off Taormina in Sicily
We met up several times during the summer on various Greek islands, then in the shadow of Mt Etna in Sicily and eventually in the bay at Santa Ponsa on Mallorca. It was so good to have them around especially in Mallorca when Andy became ill and was going back and forth to doctors’ appointments and having tests done. Our plan had been to head off to the Canaries with them and on home to Australia but unfortunately we ended up leaving Matilda and going back to the UK for Andy’s treatment for myeloma. We followed their trip vicariously though and they often managed to phone us from exotic places to see how Andy was doing.
The crew of Panormitis coming over for sundowners.
Del and Gary had told us about their Christmas’s with the family at home near Gladstone and invited us to join them any time, so this year we took them up on the offer and had a delightful few days eating, drinking and talking rubbish as usual. It was so kind of them to have us and made what could have been quite a lonely time something special.
New Year’s Eve found us with more cruising family. We met Bill and Linda firstly on e mail when I wrote to Linda after she had written her book Sailing in my Sarong (available on Amazon and via her web site for those who like to read about sailing round the world adventures). We managed to meet up with them in Poros in the Saronic Islands and again in Epidavros. Now back in Australia they invited us to spend New Year’s Eve with them and some other cruisers in Mooloolaba where they keep their boat when they’re not off on their travels.
In Greece Linda and I became hooked on Colokithokeftedes – aka courgette fritters – so I made some to take to Mooloolaba for NYE. Not quite as good as the ones in Poros but pretty good washed down with a glass of fizzy.
So instead of spending the Christmas holidays on our own feeling sorry for ourselves, we had a lovely time and send our love and thanks to everyone who shared their festive time with us. Next year, you must come to us……..