Posts Tagged ‘moreton bay’

All Set for a Second Life!

April 29, 2018

I am sitting for a good while at the galley table inside the belly of Aluna, contemplating the warm texture of the plywood panels of which she is made. My head turns right and left to let the gaze wander, while the tropical autumn sun outside burns hot in the mid-morning air. Through the tiny window I see a flock of white herons gingerly walking through the mangrove stumps. We have come less than a mile up the Tingalpa River to find a protected spot for Aluna.

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A profound sigh lifts my chest and yet another look wanders around the carefully designed living space. The gas stove waits with the red kettle just sitting there, the sprouting tray harbors fresh vegetable energy, the newly installed fridge hums inside its Styrofoam coat, the obnoxious walking mat on the floor once again would have to be stretched out and put back in its place, the stairs lead up into the bright blue sky. A flash of man’s eternally catastrophic thinking crosses my mind like a ghost wandering about gaily in plain sight: I might not see all this again!

A bit over two weeks I have now spent aboard with Nadine and Matthew, who will be Aluna’s new inhabitants for the next year or two.

alunamoreton - 6My mission was tight and well defined: to transform those to sailing novices into trustworthy sea people worthy of that name, to make sure they will be able and willing to take charge of the trusty vessel that had been our home for a good nine years and brought us from one end of the vast Pacific to the other. We have crisscrossed Moreton Bay in Southeast Queensland, to the South of the outflow of the Brisbane River, always visible from afar with the giant horse-like cranes of the container port. The weather has been kind enough to provide us with a good array of different sailing conditions, from hot, dead calms to breezy 25 knot winds, where the two apprentices experienced the crucial threshold where the big mainsail has to come down in a hurry and then one continues to claw one’s way upwind with the number two main. We have anchored in a crowded weekend anchorage and also in a river with tidal flows. Little by little their initial clumsiness has given way to a hint of new modalities ready to grow in efficiency. They do have a long stretch ahead of them with nature’s dangerous game awaiting them out there in the wide blue yonder.

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My task is now complete, and I will step off Aluna in an hour’s time. The jump into the canoe and then ashore is a substantial leap of faith. Faith in the human capability to transform if the pressure from the environment is high enough; faith in the forces of brazen craziness that can, if focused enough, break the borders of normality; and finally, faith in the brutal fact that safety and control are dead end streets, which many a time have pulled us astronomical distances away from life and its endless sources of energy.

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Aluna is now getting a second chance in life, spreading her mighty wings anew for her next adventurous flight into the bristle space of all those many things we do not yet know. Those two young people will stand the test of time, will brave the winds of change, will face their inborn fears and will deliver Aluna safely around half our mother earth’s girdle. The goal is in a couple of years’ time to have Aluna living in a secret spot amongst the Windward Islands at the edge of the Caribbean Sea. But that’s a long and winding way into the future. Who knows what crimes humanity will be committing at that time!

Please follow the well-crafted and tastefully served adventures of Nadine and Matthew on their home page at Navigating Nature, and on their facebook and instagram pages!

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