My return ticket to New York is now locked in for the 6th of February! It's been a very productive and fun time in Australia, however soon it's time to resume things and continue the trip. Thank you to Mari for the latest photo of Constellation - It was nearly 39C (about 103F) the other day here in Melbourne, and as can be seen, it's considerably colder back on Long Island:
Right now, I'm getting quotes and trying to organise the somewhat complex overland trip that has to happen this year. I expect to be trucking Constellation sometime in April, and for myself to be over on the west coast for when she arrives - This is for a scheduled departure across the Pacific in May or early June... Right now I've been getting quotes from uShip.com, and the best one so far is around $3,500. If anyone is familiar with hotshot trucking, or has any contacts in the industry who might take a backhaul west, please let me know. I need to confirm a trucking solution very soon, to ensure everything goes to plan.
Much work remains to be done on Constellation, however I hope to get 90% of it done before going overland. With the generous support of Mike Acebo who runs runs the Greenport Brewer Yacht Yard, Constellation has been under his care ever since I first docked way back in June/July of 2008. Mike and everyone at the marina has been exceptionally generous, and we're also hoping to re-do Constellation's rig, and install a furler on the foresail before leaving New York. Without the support of Mike and the Brewer yard, there is definitely, and absolutely no way I'd be moving on this year across the Pacific. So, if you're ever on a boat in Long Island, be sure to visit Brewer Yacht Yard in Greenport and say hello!
In other news, Lee Winters has successfully made it across the Gulf of Mexico. I watched his position closely over the last week, and this evening he managed to jump behind an island in Mexico before the wind picked up too much. Lee's expression of 'crying for the first time in his adult life' and the elation you can detect in his latest blog post, brings back tremendous memories of my own sailing last year... Simon has also just made it across the Atlantic ocean alone, from the Cape Verde islands - He hasn't updated his map yet, however I know he's quite happily anchored in St Lucia, the Caribbean!
The feeling of achievement, relief, sadness, and pure joy after a long distance passage alone, is nearly incomprehensible to someone who hasn't done it, yet I can assure you that both Lee & Simon deserve a really big pat on the back. Congrats!