Family / Friends

The Mothership. The big city.

The rest of the time Small DB and I spent in Melbourne was staying at the home of the Mothership and T. It felt crazy that we hadn’t been in their house for THREE YEARS! What the? Small DB was very happy to be there – remembered all the things she liked to do – dress up in Nana’s scarves, play hide and seek, bake cakes and have afternoon tea like a fancy lady…

Afternoon tea. Pinky up!
Pinky up!

The Mothership and T were thrilled to spend time with her. And took the opportunity to turn her into a Croquet Queen.

Mothership and DB. Croquet skillz.
The Mothership in motion.

I took off to see L in her new house, which is such a relief, because now I can imagine her surroundings (which are somewhat more elevated because her new house is, well… a new house). It was so lovely to have cups of tea, make sandwiches, walk down and ponder shades of hair dye on Centre Road. D even offered to let me tool around in his Defender (!?!) – something that I had to ruefully forgo.

It’s such an odd thing – when you don’t see your friends on their home ground for a zillion years, they’re kind of stuck in amber from the last time you saw them. In my head, their kids don’t grow, their cars don’t change – things don’t evolve BECAUSE I’M NOT THERE.

Ugh. But of course they do. New houses, different jobs, kids going into secondary schools… It’s not that I want a more NORMAL life, but the fact is I WANT THE CAKE. And I want to EAT THE CAKE. And while I was on my short undercover visit to Melbourne, I felt like I had achieved a mini-version of that — the cupcake version – I got to live in a floating cubby, but also zip into the lives of friends who know me well enough to welcome me with Melbourne Breakfast Tea and Nature’s Cuppa English Breakfast. I was able to visit the Mothership and T and catch up with SWWNBB and Small A.

Half Moon Bay, Black Rock.
Half Moon Bay, Black Rock.

I spent a day on my own, tooling around the city. Heavenly. I organised membership at the City Library and at the Victorian State Library with the intention of giving the Smalls more scope to borrow books online. Tick. I wandered around the Flinders Lane/Degraves St area – where I used to love to hang when I was 16 or so (I have lost considerable time trying to remember the name of the awesome secondhand bookshop that used to be there)…

Missing Persons. Nicholas Building.

I fondled stationery, patted scarves in the Block Arcade, walked to Carlton and spent a large chunk of time in Readings (where I should have bought a 2020 diary but didn’t – they are one of the few places that sell Cavelli diaries… like this.
Castelli Matra Ivory Medium Weekly Diary 2020 (turquoise) – Paper Parrot

255/365 • ...a happy place... • 📚

Heading back to Flinders St Station from Carlton, I caught a tram and jumped off at Collins St. I had made a promise to myself that if the scarf shop in the Block Arcade was still open by the time I got there, I would buy myself a present from their 50% off sale. It was closed. But just as I reached it, a woman came from the opposite direction and unlocked the door. They were closed, but she took pity on me, and I swanned back to Sandringham wrapped in my divine charcoal cashmere extravagance. Yay me. Although the bus to Black Rock was a whole other story…

The Escapees

Small DB and I were blessed with some largesse from Small Brother, who bestowed a couple of return tickets direct from Coffs to Melbourne – we left on 13 September, the day before the 50th birthday we were there to attend.

Heading out of Coffs Harbour in an unexpected way 🙂
Aeroplane games
Aeroplane games…

My wonderful freckly love, Ellise, greeted us at Belgrave Station and handed me a travel cup of Nature’s Cuppa English Breakfast tea. Could there be a better person ever? Doubtful.

Elijah, Olivia and DB. Backseat.
❤️Elijah, Olivia Rose and Daisy Belle ❤️

Small DB was very happy to see her curly counterpart and thrilled to be IN A HOUSE. With a DOG, and a CAT X and Sunset and Golden Glow – the guinea-pigs who look remarkably like animatronic toupees.

Samba. Former wild kitten from Loch.
Samba, who slept on DB most nights.

(I was particularly happy to see Samba, the beautiful tabby, because I brought her to the house in mid 2006. She was one of four wild kittens from my dad’s place and I love that I still have that connection.)

A visitor.

Being able to hang out and help with the preparation of festivities was awesome. From early Saturday morning we made salad after salad – and they were all gluten free!

Pulling it all together…

The Smalls ran about, DBJ (the birthday person) fetched crate loads of beer, wine and bubbly, in addition to the spit, which was placed over the sandpit.

Lucinda, Olivia and DB.
Lucinda, Olivia and DB

Karen, mother of DBJ, was Queen of Detailing, and wiped the house clean on the inside from the front to the back. OH MY GOD it was a GREAT PARTY!! The speeches made me cry, I caught up with my super-awesome old friends from school, and we danced until 2am.

Sam, Ellise, Rik. Legends.

Small DB was overwhelmed at the amount of people everywhere and, after adhering herself to me, limpet like, for an hour or so, popped herself into bed before 8pm after making this helpful sign…

Early to bed. Party too big.

We had a wonderful breakfast the next day in Emerald, the adults being slightly seedy. All Smalls were put in front of a few movies that afternoon so we could nana-nap.

The next two days, I was principal kid-minder while E and DBJ went to work. My most classic moment during this time was after taking a very long shower in fresh-water (always a thrill) I was wafting around with a cup of tea doing little, when Olivia asked; “When are you going to start looking after us Beth?” I had to assure her that unless someone was bleeding, my duties extended to making sure she was fed and that I had enough tea in my cup… We agreed that this was OK.

Olivia the Pirate.
Olivia the Pirate.

Small DB had a well-matched game of chess with Elijah…

Elijah Vs. DB - it ended in a draw.
Despite the death-stare, it was a draw.

I was able to observe Lucinda (my god-daughter) in her natural habitat, which was interesting. She is a mischievous sprite, but so happy to spend hours on on own creating things in the playroom and drawing fantastic pictures. She is the kid I’ve seen the least of the three of them and I was so happy to be able to have time hanging with her.

Lucinda Rae. Pink on pink.
❤️ Lucinda Rae ❤️
Lucinda Rae
❤️ Lucinda Rae ❤️
Curly Soup.
Curlies making soup for lunch.

E returned home after work at lunchtime each day and we managed to jam in some quality op-shopping time and good walks. Small DB and I were put on the train at Belgrave midday on Wednesday and it was sad to say goodbye. I again had the recognition (that I’d experienced at Small Brother’s) that I’d been away for too long – that I hadn’t been entwined in other people’s lives and that I MISSED it. A lot.

Inclement weather. Water and land.

The difficulties inherent in boat life are most apparent in inclement weather. For a while it is nice to be in a cosy cabin with a cup of tea and the rain pounding on the hatches, but after a while the positive aspects of my brain are flattened by a lack of sunlight and grey skies. My mood begins to emulate the weather. It operates nefariously, the downward spiral. I don’t become conscious of it until I awaken on a clear day and can stretch my arms in the sun. Then I realise that I’m surfacing, and have been oblivious to my gradual submersion.

Daily walks are probably a mental health essential in crap weather. Harder to attain on a boat, but not impossible. But the easier things are to do, the more likely it is that they will be done. If the boat is drying out on the sand and I can walk ashore, then I will. If the boat is bobbing about and I have to get into the dinghy, motor ashore, dick around with the anchor, ponder what the tide is doing… adding in all those variables can sap me to the point where I just go and make another cup of tea and stay under my own rain cloud.

Sisters. Grey skies. Iluka.

Moods in a tiny space are their own weather system. If one person is out of whack, everything can proceed around them. If two people are niggling at each other, it becomes difficult. Small Z is in an undeniably bratty stage, talking back under her breath, working her faux-bogan ‘tude into almost every interaction. M has minimal tolerance of this, and she has minimal tolerance of his minimal tolerance.

Both of them will then separately complain to me about the other, and what is required at that point is a break from each other. I think that, while we all over-indulge in screentime on the boat, in a way the screen enables you to disappear from the people around you, giving you the mental break that the physical space doesn’t necessarily allow. It’s easier to crumple your body around a screen than dig out your wet weather gear, get into a dinghy and go for a walk. Easier, but not always better.

045/365 • and it’s EYES DOWN 👀 because the minecrafting gang have reunited for the first time since hanging out in Brisbane five months ago - hooray for #boatkids and long lost friends @marikobergen and @stefgonyonda 👏 - so good to see you!! • .
The power of Minecraft.

It is for reasons like this that people with kids on their boats often stick together. It creates a far more workable dynamic. The kids want to get together and DO STUFF – whether that’s minecrafting while it rains, or creating elaborate games on a beach – and this gives the parents breathing space. They don’t have to be the ones dragging the recalcitrant child ashore demanding that they SOAK UP THE GODDAMN NATURE and THINK OF ALL THE KIDS STUCK IN CLASSROOMS…

To which Small Z will inevitably respond, “Oi can look at natecha on moi screen beck in tha boat. Why do I heve to come outside and do it?”

Being taken surfing. Unhappily.
Going surfing. Not impressed.

She is a kid that thrives with other kids, and after a while becomes a bit desolate without any. Cruising life is not ideal for her, but she could do worse. There are many different approaches to kids on boats. We’ve met a boat with four teenagers aboard who are simply told by their parents that while they remain dependents they will be sailing. Once they are of age, they’re free to do what they want.

At the other end of the spectrum are the parents who chuck it all in once the kids are about to start secondary school, feeling that the socialisation and the academic issues are more important than a sea-gypsy lifestyle. I understand both angles, but have more sympathy with the former. Boatkids are nothing if not resilient, and accustomed to socialising with all ages – anecdotally they do well when they are put into school, both academically and socially.

Kids at the top of Nga. With our temporary dog.
The top of the highest mountain on the Isle of Pines

Of the three kidboats we were cruising Vanuatu with this time last year, two have returned to land life. Dog Star, in Wellington, are still living aboard in a marina, but working land jobs and their kid has just started secondary school. They hope to save funds and sail to Fiji next year. Pandion are selling their boat and are living in a rental property on the mid-north coast – oddly, the kids are thriving, but the parents are feeling dislocated – they’ve returned to land life without the safety net that a school provides – readymade structure and classmates.

133/365 * all the awesomeness of a #kidboat meet up - happy kids who get to frolic; happy adults who get a break... • . #outdoorfamilies #play #newcaledonia #abcmyphoto #boatkids #kids #portmoselle #catamaran #anchored #bellalunaboat #cruising #exploring
My favourite boatkid photo. Port Moselle Marina.

The third boat, GonYonda, are the ones we have known the longest, and the ones that have lived aboard for the greatest amount of time. Theirs is a very comfortable vessel. But they plan to chuck it in early next year. Put the kids in school. Both adults are very employable and will return to where they began, thus able to access a support network that will undoubtedly help them with the transition back to regular work and socialising.

164/365 • back at Baie de Prony - we returned to the beautiful waterfall - here’s Zoe in flight • . #newcaledonia #baiedeprony #friends #swim #10yo #boatkids #bellalunaboat #cruising #exploring #Winter2018 #outdoorfamilies #seagypsies @reminy__joy
Baie du Prony. New Caledonia.

Everyone has different circumstances, but the one commonality that links those three boats is this: there are careers to go back to – they are midwives, builders, programmers, nurses, anthropologists. We don’t have those. I can’t go back to my role of ‘medical report ghost writer’, and M can’t go back to being funded by me to build the boat. Of course we are both adept at many things, but none of them are there to slot into. We don’t have professions. I can’t register with an agency and get work as a nurse or a midwife. Nor can I program or anthropologise…

I wonder if I was qualified to earn money within a particular field a return to land life might prove more attractive? I’m not sure.

Returned to sender

The transition back to boat life has been generally uncomplicated. I am much better for having been away – despite the shingles, the traffic violations and having lost oneself in the woods. I returned intact. There were suggestions from other (largely non-boat dwelling) people that spending eight weeks away in a land of hot water, dishwashers, Bob the Jeep, washing machines, a beautiful house and an apartment in the West Village (when required) might make it tricky to return to the (mostly) cold water floating cubby…

Hello floaty cubby under moody Yamba skies.

But seriously, it’s not that I don’t like where I live. In the past I have been in the situation where the house I was living in was not somewhere I wanted to come back to after several enjoyable days away. I would morph into a sad grey lump and make pathetic plans to escape… (eventually one of these plans was less pathetic than the rest). However, I like boat life. I like that we now have no looming deadlines (fanging up the coast from Tasmania in order to install M and the Smalls in a safe Yamba anchorage was not completely idyllic), but what I have realised from my time away is this;

My internal vessel holding my essential spark was sapped. Out of juice. Zero solitude, eleven years of parenting, nine years of boat building, being unwell for so long and not realising, enduring the loss of my dad – basically holding it all together… In retrospect feel like I stepped on to that aeroplane and my whole being let go of the reins that I’d hardly been aware of gripping. Not that I had any realisation of this – my flights were fine, I was totally excited to see SB and his fantastic house. My body, on the other hand, decided that it could safely freak out – and for over a fortnight I was more trashed than I have ever been.

162/365 • last night of my six week epic #longserviceleave - whiskey sours and steak - somehow, over the years, my SB has turned into a host with the most, he even convinced the fireflies to make an appearance 😍... •
Prior to the cooking of the steak. My last night in Kerhonkson….

None of this occurred to me as a thought process, it was only when I was writing to my friend Ford St Clair (his nom de plume) in Tasmania that a version of the previous paragraph flowed out from my fingers. I re-read it, and understood. Didn’t make the shingles any easier to bear, but I realised they had not appeared (as I had presumed) out of nowhere. At this point, let me make a suggestion to any of you that might have had childhood chickenpox – get the fucking vaccination. There are not many people out there I would wish shingles upon – ongoing intractable pain that worsens at night, along with zero appetite and massive fatigue. It felt like all my lower left ribs had been kicked hard.

At its worst, ibuprofen didn’t touch it, and all I could do was pace the house through the night until I was finally exhausted enough to sleep. It was awful. There were tears. By the time I was due to return to Australia I felt like I had only had one properly functional week – I literally took a poll via Instagram and FB as to whether or not to haemorrhage the cash to adjust the three flights needed to get me back. Screens said “YES”. I stayed on, and am so glad I did.

View of the Rosendale Trestle
View of the Rosendale Trestle from my hike up the hill.

I had no qualms about the Smalls – M was having a great time being the Single-Parent-Who-Rejoices-In-Not-Having-To-Negotiate-With-Another-Adult-Ever-About-Anything. He was flying solo and loving it. As was I. It was all good. Extending my stay meant that when I did come back, it felt like the right time. SB has since reported that I wouldn’t like it over there now anyway – the weather has hit the point of humidity that renders me incapable.

Back on the boat, it feels like my normal. Keeping an eye on the water gauges, anchoring, remembering the importance of the Windy app in our lives. My only objection is to the over-abundance of craptastic GF bread that appears to have invaded in my absence. But it all feels a bit easier.

I miss this house. I MISS IT.

I have caught up with Yamba friends and Pandion who have returned to a land-based life. We have been making plans for heading north when the weather co-operates. M and the Smalls have been surfing, and we’ve all been for a paddle on a combination of kayak and two paddleboards. It was good to get away, but it’s good to be back..

DB Vs Hula Hoop
DB vs. Hula Hoop

Goodbye Hobart, hello east coast with crew!

Sailing well with Ange and Belle.

Due our [failed] real estate aspirations, we have had to forego the west coast of Tasmania. I’m hoping to come back down sometime via the Kent Island Group and then on to King Island and down the west coast instead of up it… but that will have to wait.

Many months ago I booked a ticket to NYC to hang with Small Brother – somehow, my departure date is now just over four weeks away. I leave from Sydney. We mused on me flying to Sydney from Tasmania and M finding someone to crew with him across Bass Strait and a bit up the east coast of Australia, but it all got too tricky…

Instead we intend to head to Flinders Island and grab a weather window (because I’ve decided there WILL be a good one) to head up to Sydney, so M has crew, and I can fly away. Get that – I’m going to FLY SOMEWHERE ON MY OWN. I haven’t visited Small Brother since Small Z was 18 months old. She was still breastfeeding, I was a sleepless wreck, and also trying to orchestrate a good travelling equilibrium between the Mothership and M.

Spinning on the streets of New York
M & Z. New York City. June 2009.

Now I’m heading back, having put in a decade of parenting, and I intend to wander the city and SOAK UP SOME CULTURE. And then I am going to wander in the Catskills and SOAK UP SOME MORE. As you may be able to intuit, I’m becoming a little bit excited about going solo – but I’ve never left the Smalls for more than a few nights, so I’m sure that will be something of a wrench…

Ange and Belle with the Smalls.

The change in our plans has meant that we have been able to bring along our friend Ange (violinist, pianist, artist, jeweller, chook whisperer and florist) and her daughter Belle for a week as we sail between Hobart and Orford. It has been quite wonderful to have them aboard – and confirms my theories about sharing your living space with others – it keeps on your game.

The crew kicking back.
The crew. Kicking back.

Hobart Kebang!
DB and Belle, fishing for flathead.

Ange has sailed for many years on huge old wooden boats like the Lady Nelson, this is her first time on a catamaran; she’s hoping to get experience on all kinds of boats because she hopes to have her own vessel at some point. It has been awesome having her and Belle aboard – our Smalls have been vastly better behaved, and Small DB in particular has been blooming, playing bunny-mamas with Belle.

Belle & Ange. On our way out past the Iron Pot.

We left Hobart on Saturday, March 30th and headed to Lime Bay for a night or two before heading through the Denison Canal. Little bit dicey getting through – we were ready with the fenders!

B’s head, M’s legs, and three kids…

Going through the canal…

Highlights of Dunalley? There were few, but they were good. The playground is a winner.

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087/365 • …the blessed basket swing… •

A post shared by 🐦 Beth ⚓️ (@bellalunaboat) on

As is the boathouse on the jetty next to the little slipway. We talked to a bloke there who teaches boatbuilding to kids from the local school, in addition to making chairs. M literally squealed when he saw a bespoke electric bicycle that another inhabitant of the boatshed had made – it was beautiful.

Boat shed. Dunalley.
Boat shed. Dunalley.

There was enough of the afternoon left to explore the beach at the Narrows in the Marion Bay Conservation Area – the beach is sublime, though bereft of sea-glass…

Beach at Marion Bay near the Narrows.
Waves in the clouds.

It was about 12 nautical miles to Maria Island the following morning – gosh it’s lovely. It’s hard to believe how industrialised it was a hundred years ago. we walked to the old cellblocks and were practically kicking wombats out of the way…

Maria Island
Cellblock wombat. Maria Island.

We saw many wallabies, pademelons and wombats, and found a few pieces of old china thrown away by long ago inhabitants. Ange played some gorgeous piano music…

Angle on the piano at the Coffee Palace, Maria Island.

We spent a fairly hideous night on the mooring getting sloshed around in the waves and wind. There was not a lot of sleep – and therefore we didn’t make it ashore until midday. We were shamed by Gonyonda, who all scaled the resident mountain – a massive effort! We took the easy way out and went for a walk to the Fossil Cliffs and then cut back past an engine room and some smoke stacks.

Maria Island
Bella Luna. The album.
Maria Island
Door frame. DB.

Maria Island
Engine room. Small Z.
Maria Island
Gate post and chimney stacks.

Maria Island

Orford in the afternoon. A far superior anchorage for the conditions. Everyone got a Much Better Sleep. We wandered around the following day, doing a bit of shopping and lunching with GonYonda in the park while the kids played. M, Ange and I spent the night gossiping and playing around with family trees on

Saturday morning: the last morning I’d get up and see Belle and Small DB sitting together with their buns – Rose and Bunny – on the couch, either plotting mischief or minecrafting. I made pancakes for breakfast and gave Ange her last coffee with cream before we all went ashore and delivered our lovely crew to the bus stop and said our farewells.

Goodbye Ange and Belle! The perfect size family to have aboard – we enjoyed your company so much! Thank you for your hospitality and help and violin awesomeness while we were in Hobart (and while we’ve been at sea).

After Bunny sent Rose a postcard, we grabbed a few more supplies, pulled up the anchor and sailed off for Wineglass Bay…

A crazy weekend

After meeting Ford St Clair (his nom de plume) on the St Helens Pier two years ago, and keeping in touch sporadically from that time, the man himself drove down from Wynyard on Friday to visit us in Hobart. All of us were Very Pleased to see him, and fed him pea and ham soup, jelly with cream and tea and coffee and porridge with rhubarb…

He cooked us an excellent dinner on Saturday night, using olives and bacon and chicken and cream, green beans… he was even able to almost cope with having to paw his way through our bin to find the only salt on the boat – contained in a salt grinder I had thrown out in a fury earlier in the day. Although he hates our stove, he is (apart from @littleearthstories ) the only person who has ever cooked in our kitchen/galley – he’s an excellent addition to boat life. He only fell overboard once.

On the whole, the weekend was frighteningly social. Saturday afternoon, the GoneYondas visited for an hour or two in honour of Reuben’s eighth birthday (we were also with them this time last year in Manly – when he was gifted a voucher for huggles with Honey the Boatkitten), Juleen and Rory were in town and dropped in as well, as did Christian! (Former Bidston Moss drummer and tech-man around town.) We all squished into the cockpit while the six kids did their thing…

Being tied up between two Large Old Ships – the Rhona H and the Lady Nelson, we have had to shuffle up and down the pier – about four or five times over the course of the weekend (when they are at their most active) to make it easier for them to get in and out of Sullivan’s Cove. It was on one of these occasions, with M and I up on the dock handling the lines, Christian on the bow and Ford on the stern, that I watched the gap between the boat and the dock widen, bridged only by Ford.

“Don’t fall overboard,” I suggested helpfully, at the same time that his fingertips and toes parted ways with their respective surfaces. He fell balletically, head first, then twisted like a stuntman, hitting the water feet first. M later said that he appeared to remain submerged for longer than was required. Ford later said that he too, under the water and looking up at the bottom of the boat, felt he had been down there for an unnecessary amount of time…

He eventually broke the surface looking generally resigned, and swam to the ladder. I was happy to see that he was unhurt i.e had escaped being squished between the boat and the pier, had avoided being cut up by oysters, had not hit his head… It provided he and M with much hilarity as the night went on…

We had a night of excellent food and general rambunctiousness.

Goodbyes suck – and we bade Ford farewell the following morning, as we again moved the boat along the dock. Don’t know when we will see him again 🙁

I went and consoled myself on Live Louder, another catamaran, where I drank tea and delightedly talked crimewriting with the resident crimewriter. The Smalls, meanwhile, saw our friends – Ange and Belle crewing on the Lady Nelson – and went out on a two hour odyssey on a ship much grander than their own!!

Hobart Kebang!
Zoe steers the Lady Nelson.

Hobart Kebang!
DB steers the Lady Nelson.

When M went to pick them up, a beautiful Frenchwoman approached.

“I ‘ave a question I must ask you…”

“Certainly,” breathed M.

“Do you ‘ave a cat called Honey?”

M recognised her. It was our vet from Noumea! She had seen Honey three times when we were there, and had been spot-on that boat life was not making her a happy cat. While she and her partner chatted to M, I was on Bella Luna defrosting the fridge. As I put a few more things into the esky out in the cockpit, a bloke approached on the dock.

“Hello,” he said.

“Hello!” I didn’t recognise him, but thought he might be a manly boating friend of M.

“I saw you guys over here, and wanted to bring you this.” He held out a cooked crayfish. “You know – for helping me out the other night.”

“WHAT!? Oh my goodness!! Thank you so much!! That will be dinner!” The crayfish got stashed in the esky with the rest of the fridge contents.

About three weeks ago we were anchored in Missionary Bay over on Bruny Island. Around 2am the wind swung around and kicked up pretty strongly and 15 minutes after that, M and I heard a very insistent air horn. He sat up in bed and poked his head out the hatch, and just as quickly pulled it closed and started scrambling into his clothes.

“Get something warm on. Lifejacket. Grab a torch. There’s a boat on the rocks.”

We lowered Foamy into what had become a very choppy sea. Over our handheld VHF we heard, “Help! Can anybody hear us?”

“No worries mate,” said M. “We’re about 50 metres away, be with you in two minutes.”

As we got closer, we could see two boats, rafted up together, side on to the shore. A big motor cruiser was washing on to the rocks, while the yacht that it was joined to seemed to have an anchor out. We had some difficulty picking up a line from them, and at one point washed on to the shore ourselves.

M had some trouble restarting our outboard, but finally we had a line from the yacht secure and managed to pull the nose of it around and away from the other boat, giving it enough water to get their motor started. We guided the yacht by torchlight into a safe spot – the skipper seemed a bit disoriented and I remember hoping that he would not collide with Bella Luna, where there were two sleeping Smalls…

Once he seemed to be in safe water, we headed back to the motor cruiser – in the absence of the yacht it had managed to get the engines started and was reversing away off the shore. No further help was required. M and I motored back to Bella and got dry. I made cups of tea, because we were too adrenalised to go straight back to sleep.

I said a brief hello to both boats the following morning when they came by and thanked us for our efforts, but other than that, it felt like a dream. Had it really happened? Apparently it had – because M and I chatted to Glenn the Crayfish Man on the dock for quite a while – it turns out he knows Franklin very well, and we all lamented the rising property prices, the lack of vacant land for sale and the increasingly pedantic machinations of the local council. The crayfish was sensational.