By its nature cruising has to be a process of elasticity and exploration. While I’m sure it is possible to cruise from place to place in your boat and befriend no one and never be lent a vehicle, this cannot happen when your partner is a labrador incarnate and you have two small cute children.
Since being in Franklin two different people have lent us cars. When we arrived, disillusioned by a quick investigation of Port Huon, we knew no one. But while waiting more than two weeks for our new propellor to arrive (thank you, Yamaha Australia), – we have hung out at people’s houses, made friends at the food co-op, bookshop and post office, been gifted offcuts of Huon pine, told where to pick spray free blackberries and been invited into two different backyards to pick plums.
We have also taken new friends out for an overnight sail (they are our perfect cruising companions – she being a crochet goddess and he a boatbuilder who has circumnavigated the globe). They are the people who have really welcomed us in to Franklin, and into their home. The Smalls have a free pass to their trampoline, have dug up and eaten their potatoes, and have a good thing going on with their nine-year-old.
In opposition to the normal, *I* have been the one to accumulate friends and acquaintances in Franklin – this began, of course, at the secondhand bookshop. Had their been no bookshop, my attempt at Labradoring would never have begun; however, hanging out at a good secondhand bookshop seems to ensure you meet like-minded people – even homeschooling mothers with boat-buildling obsessed partners.