Sea Trials…

We have been deliberating for weeks on a name for the new boat.

Its ten years old and still has no name!  Therefore we do not have to worry about breaking any old sea lores and can just smash champers on the bow and off we go.

On Christmas day 2017 we named her, Endorfin.  We added some pin striping and a savage looking fish for decoration.

We also had a big clean up job.  For two weeks Geoff worked on the boat in any spare time.  Every part of the boat had to be pulled out, cleaned, repaired or removed.  From mouldy carpet, delaminated cupboard doors, off paint, waterlogged latches, seized parts, to other bits not working.  It was very rewarding.  Taking it from a very neglected and unused boat to newly loved in just a matter of weeks!  Geoff put on new latches, painted, scrubbed, repaired and replaced.  Nearly every component needed attention.  Rip, tear and busted.

At least the engine was in good nick and recently rebuild.  One win!

Geoff build bunks in the cabin so now it can sleep four.  Second win!

We took her out to sea, made cups of tea, visited the sea lions, cruised the foreshore.

Geoff could have swallowed his stomach in nerves the first time we took it off the truck and back out of the water without any major dramas.  Third WIN!

Geoff has remodelled the fire engine.  He took off the water truck section to loose weight and installed a turbo charger on the engine to try and get more power.  He says fingers crossed it going to be able to do the job.

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The journey has begun…

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For our next big adventure we have decided to go to sea… so we needed a bigger boat!   We sadly had to sell our beloved old boat and find a new bigger one with a kitchen and more sleeping room.  It all happened very fast.  We had the holiday idea; then Geoff found a boat in Perth and so it was on.  The boat was the right price but it needed some work.  It had potential.  Then we needed a bigger truck to pull that bigger boat.  Geoff found the little red fire engine and all of a sudden, we had the new rig on its way home.

Bailey named the fire engine Margaret.

We have set the date.  We will leave on 25th April for 7 weeks, after my Dads race; The Wayne Armstrong Memorial Cup 10 year finale, for .  I found house-sitters on the internet.  Geoff borrowed all the Kimberly Sea Maps from Stevo and Lisa.

The planning and research is a big job.   Tides.  Water.  Fuel.  Supplies.

Its a big job to pull this off.  We know can do it.  

Geoff has booked a satellite sea-phone as there is no internet where we are going.

So the main organising parts are in motion.

Now for the finer details… Bring it on!

 

Karijini National Park WA

We are packing again… with much excitement. This time we are off in our caravan. We all love the freedom of being independent and with all our stuff, just like a snail has his home on his back. No matter what happens we have our little home. We want to get into Karijini before the depth of winter. It can get really cold in the desert.

We have had our caravan for a few years now. Since our 4 month trip around half of Australia. It reminds me of how simple life can be. We have all we need in one little comfy space that is not only adequate but also really homely.

Our caravan is always packed and the beds are made. It is an easy to prepare for holiday. Yesterday I went through all the cupboards and wrote a shopping list with Gracie for all the things we need to top up on. We will take enough food for the 3 week trip.

Geoff and Bailey build a new drawer system in the back of Geoffs car. He also upgraded the car fridge and a new 60 litre in car water tank.

I had a bit of a look on the Karijini internet sites last night. Looks like the place has changed a fair bit since we were there in 1996. One of my friends last week described Karijini as the highlight of her Australia trip last year. I think we have forgotten how cool the place is. Its a good time now to get the kids into there and do all the gorge walks.

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home sweet home…

We are home. Its been three days. We all are going through a major adjustment period. My brain is foggy and just keeping up.

photo 1Bailey and Gracie we excited beyond words to see and hug all their friends again. We all received such a beautiful welcome and it makes us feel really loved and missed. Oh and it just reinforces over and over what we already know, how great our home town and friends are.

We walked in to a lovely clean and cared for home and have to thank Margaret, Neville, Mum and Trevor for all they have done. Plus the whole Southside team led by Jeremy. All of these beautiful people make it possible we can take off and see the world. Hugs xx

The past few days have been literally filled with catching up, hugs, glasses of wine, dinners stories of ‘the best bits’. Bailey has been playing is guitar, Gracie has been brushing her dolls hair, Geoff mowed the lawn and I hung out with my chickens. Our three poodles are happy to see us and remember! They are back too snuggling on the bed. So hello again to waking us up early and scratching for fleas. Really, its joy.

photo 2Geoff and I drove our cars and turned on our laptops for the first time in 105 days. I really had to think about the buttons and controls for each to get it right. Everything feels weird.

On the first morning home I cooked eggs on toast for us all. When the toast popped up I said out loud ‘wow that is so cleaver’. The miracle of toast popping up automatically ready to eat. What an appreciation for the little things.

The kids are back at school, Geoff is back at work fixing cars, and I am at home catching up on all the stuff here. Some of that includes walking around aimlessly scratching my head, watering plans, making lists, washing clothes, visiting the chickens again and yes all the paperwork.

It feels like two worlds – one where we are carefree with nothing to worry about and the other is structured full of responsibility. You cant really have your brain in both. Its either in one place or the other. So now we are a bit stuck in the land in between and working our way back.

We get asked all sorts of questions from our friends like ‘best bits’ and ‘was it awesome’ and ‘was it hard’? I would have to say the BEST thing we seem to all have noticed is that it was a very special family time. We all were together, grew together and just hung out. No matter what was going on or what we were seeing – we were together. That was the best bit.

And to see the maturity and growth in Bailey and Gracie is gold. Both have come back different, especially Gracie. Both have blossomed from their love and appreciation of everything through to decision-making and responsibilities. So its not where you go or what you do, its the opportunity for growth that is the real adventure.

Thank you for following our journey over the past few months. I know so many of you have loved it as much as we have. It was just as much your journey as it was ours.

With love… the CapROCKWatters xx

Little Bay Sydney

We have all thoroughly enjoyed our five day fun in Sydney. It was so great to be with our Sydney family and Steven K came over as well. Its becoming a great habit us all getting together for more fun times.

We didnt stray far from the house or do much ‘sightseeing’ apart from our one bus ride to the the two major city icons.

Bailey, Gracie, Mia and Ned played non stop the whole time. Day and night fun, laughs and some bingles. While us adults drank champers, beer and chatted the days away. The boys took the kids to the beach and park a couple of times and Tanya and I made one trip to the shops and caffe latte gossips.

The big highlight and reason why we all came together this time was for Grants 50th, oh and what a fab night it was. Grant had a venue with a awesome ocean view in Maroubra Beach. A whole collection of lovely people, food, drinks, a birthday playlist and long conversations nearly to sun up.

It has been so nice to hear familiar voices and begin the big process of catching up with everyone. Especially lovely to hear the kids on the phone with their school friends bursting at the seams with excitement and love for their pals. Reminds us how cool our home town and friends are.

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So today is fly out day. The final homeward bound flights to Perth then Geraldton. New release movie mania makes the time tick away. Right now we are at the Perth Terminal for our few hour layover. In a couple of hours we will all be home sweet home with Mum, Trevor and our poodles! Yippeeee……

Little Bay Sydney

We woke early. I am not sure what time zone my body is in now. We lost 18 hours – one full day yesterday. Its our first day back in Australia for a long time. My phone rings for the first time in 100 days. We start hearing from friends and family welcoming us home. It is so special. Gracie gets a phone call from Keeley and they talk like long lost friends for ages.

After breaky we catch the bus into the City. The kids want to see the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. I reckon that is about all we have the stamina for today. The weather in Sydney is dry, hot and windy. Doesnt take me long to get a dry cough and dust blowing around gets in our eyes. Gracie starts sneezing.

We get off the bus at Central Quay and walk over to the Opera House for a close inspection of the steps and sails. Its always a pretty amazing sight. And we take in the awesomeness of Australians most famous bridge. The kids are impressed. image

We walked across the bridge to the other side and had some lunch at a cafe. We notice the dryness of Australian service and the price of food is mental. By this time we were all stuffed so caught the ferry across to the other side and bused home. Just in time for Mia and Ned to come home from school ready to play.

imageWe all had a great night in drinking wine, eating yummy curry and talking our heads off about life and of course our big adventure. Just fab…image

Little Bay Sydney

Our day started early… its going to be a long day! The alarm went off 5.30am. Just for a moment, we all stood together in the early twilight to celebrate and soak up the journey we have just completed through USA and Canada. It is quite surreal. It feels like we have been on the Amazing Race, averaging 2-3 nights in each location it is incredible how much we have seen and done. We think about the best bits. The list is long as we have just done so much from building snowmen in BC, picking up dinosaur bones in Drumheller, walking through deserts, swimming with dolphins and turtles in Hawaii, catching salmon with our hands in Squamish, watching black bears with tears in our eyes, climbing a crater, mountain biking, watching killer whales doing backflips in San Diego, snow falling on our faces, a wolf walking through the woods, ice carving 600 year old glacial ice, helicopter ride with the doors off looking at lava, horse riding in the Rocky Mountains, staring at the Grand Canyon, walking through redwoods in Oregon, climbing The Chief, watching ice calving off Hubbard Glacier in Alaska, wild grizzly bears eating berries in Denali, cruising The Strip in Vegas, jumping out of massive trees on a zipline, riding gondolas in Whistler, walking through a water filled canyon in Zion, ocean kayaking to the Captain Cook Memorial and looking for yellow banana slugs in Fern Canyon. We have created our own unique fun filled Lonely Planet. It contains also a healthy mix of blood, sweat and tears, as any adventure traveller will appreciate. The more multilayered the task the greater the personal reward.

Johnny, from Hong Kong who has called Big Island home for over 20 years, dutifully collected us for our last taxi run to the Hilo Airport. His accent is still so thick he is difficult to understand and talks a million miles an hour about life, how big the mountain is and tells us about his last passenger who is here to import fish cakes. Taxi drivers are like a box of chocolates.image

The first leg of our day was from Big Island back to Oahu Honolulu. We had a three hour breaky layover then boarded for Sydney. Now just as we sat in our seats on the Sydney bound flight in our row of four centre plane the strangest thing happened. Listening to everyone finding their seats, passing overhead luggage and organising themselves was weird. It was the first and only moment I can recall hearing how thick our accents are. It was like when we first arrived to America and we notice how unfamiliar the words and sounds are. Well we just had it in reverse and notice the Aussie accent. Geoff, Bailey and I just lost it laughing realised how strange Aussies must sound. We are truly like the Castle movie.image

Any flight for the kids is about the inflight movies. They have the square eye and melting brain stamina to last any long haul watching none stop movies. So soon as we were in the air off they went doing their best to smash every movie on offer. Food and water comes second.

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We landed in Sydney and made it through customs at warp speed to be met by Grant. Yippee back to Ben and Tanyas for the final little leg of our world tour. It is so lovely to be with our special friends again, and a comfy clean bed we didnt have to find or pay for! It is so welcome and we are well and truly ready. We worked out its been two years since we were all together last at our 20 year Gnaraloo reunion in WA. Bailey and Gracie got straight into playing with Mia and Ned, those four kids were happy as larry.

We have been away from Australia for 99 days, taken 7000 photos, stayed in 40 hotels, 10 plane trips, 2 trains, 3 buses, 3 hires cars, brought 1 car, 1 helicopter charter, 1 luxury cruise and 2 ferry trips. We travelled about 9000kms by car and thousands more via air and sea. Plus many public buses, taxis, trains and skyrail rides. We have been a family of four with our four backpacks who visited the new destinations of Western USA, Canada, Alaska and Hawaii.