We move onto the boat in late April 2019 and spend a busy month rushing around simultaneously packing and unpacking, fixing boat stuff, selling unwanted possessions, cleaning and various other tasks which keep both of us preoccupied from dawn to dusk. In addition, we hang out with family and friends and say good bye to everyone we know. It is nice living in the Newcastle Yacht Club and discovering a whole new part of Newcastle as a local. Jake loves scooting around everywhere and Lara is really good on her skateboard. Jake's scooter disappears one day, then is miraculously brought back by a neighbouring boat owner who found it after someone mentioned it was behind their boat, Jake had made a 'lost scooter' sign and shown it to this guy. Success! Another neighbour brings us a bowl of fresh tomatoes. We walk to showers every night as a family. We feel like tourists in our own city. But the weather is getting cold and we have had to buy extra blankets to keep warm. Time to head north.
Graham has advised a 'weather window' for going north. By this, he means no wind and therefore calm seas. I concur after a particularly cool spell in Newcastle with Arctic winds and lots of rain. We decide to leave the kids with Graham's parents for the first sail to test the boat out and control our panic. Robyn and Paul will follow us north with the kids in a couple of days. Graham and I set off on Sunday 9 June just before 9am. Kind neighbours help us untie the lines and we motor slowly out of Newcastle Harbour. Family and friends are there to wave us off. Seeing everyone wave and scream makes me tear up. This is real.