On March 27, 2002, we sailed Whisper sailed under the Golden Gate bridge heading out on the adventure of a lifetime. Just over a week ago, we arrived back in San Francisco – via plane. The trip to Australia took us close to seven years. The return from Australia only took 13 hours.
What is the origin of the word milestone? Perhaps there were stones marking each mile on a path to somewhere. Arriving in Australia is a significant milestone for us. If our guess at the origin of the word is correct, we have over 15,000 ocean milestones behind us.
We left New Caledonia on Sunday, October 19th, feeling a little anxious about our last ocean passage for a while. Six days later, we arrived safely in Bundaberg, Australia. Landfall in any new country after a passage is some combination of excitement, relief and curiosity.
Within minutes of tying up to the Quarantine dock, Customs, Quarantine and Immigration hopped on board for the entry formalities. An hour later, we moved Whisper to a marina slip and sighed in relief. We were officially in Australia.
Though exhausted, we went up to explore the marina complex. Wow. A restaurant, chandlery, store, ATM and boatyard all right here at the marina. We ran into friends and enjoyed a quick drink at the bar before heading back to Whisper for our traditional post-passage champagne.
We awoke the next morning not certain where we were. A bit of coffee helped us remember. Our neighbor started chatting with us. Before we knew what happened, we boarded his 65 foot motor launch and headed down the channel with a group of Australians embarking on a day of whale watching in Hervey Bay. Unbelievable. Wait a sec – what about the laundry and washing Whisper? Tomorrow.
In less than 24 hours in Australia, we have 15 new friends and several hundred pictures of whales. We are already in love with this place.
Do you think they put different size stones at miles that are more significant than others? For us, there would be a big stone marking Bundaberg. We sailed across the Pacific Ocean, the South Pacific Ocean and the Coral Sea to get to Australia. Yet, there is so much more to this journey than the miles we’ve covered or the oceans we’ve crossed. It is all about the experiences and people you meet along the way. If our first 24 hours in Australia are any indication of what is to come, we are really going to enjoy this milestone.
Whisper sold to a lovely couple from Melbourne despite the Global Financial Crisis. The deal happened rather quickly and the closing was perfectly timed for our return to the States.
Touring Sydney and the Brisbane area kept us busy right up to our departure.
Over the past seven years, Whisper carried us to places many people can only dream of visiting. Not only has Whisper been a mode of transport, she has been our home for close to eight years.
With a desire to return to work/land for the next several years, we chose to sell our home and return to life on terra firma.
Whisper now has new owners from Melbourne, Australia. Yikes, it all happened so quickly.
We are excited to begin this new chapter in our adventure. So here we land having come full circle back to San Francisco.