We stuck our heads out at 0700 this morning........hoping to say goodbye to Australian friends Reese and Linda on S/V Windy Spirit who have been docked just a few slips away from us for the past 7 months. Unfortunately they and their catamaran were nowhere in sight. They must have departed at first light to meet up with the Sail Malaysia East Rally. Reese and Linda decided that Malaysia was just too far from Australia, so they are leisurely sailing eastward with hopes of going over the top of Papua New Guinea and possibly to Vanautu as they make their way back towards Australia. We wish them safe voyage and hope they don't have to endure too much upwind sailing.
But as our newer friends depart, older friends arrive.
We met Bill and Amy on S/V Estrellita at Hiva Oa in the Marqueses of French Polynesia in June 2008. They went one direction and we another. A couple of months later we met again in Bora Bora. Again we went our separate ways. Another couple of months later we met again in Vava'U in the Kingdom of Tonga. In October S/V Estrellita headed north and S/V BeBe headed south. We sailed to New Zealand; then back north to Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Australia, Indonesia and Singapore. Bill and Amy sailed to Samoa, Palau, Truk, the Philippines and other island groups north of the equator. We have stayed in touch off and on via email and Facebook, but honestly did not think we would meet up again. Their stories and photos often made Bill and I wish that we had followed their "path less traveled." We loved New Zealand, Vanuatu and New Caledonia; but Australia (most especially The Great Barrier Reef) was a huge disappointment for us. Heck, we could have followed the much more interesting route of S/V Estrellita and simply visited New Zealand via airplane. Wish we had put a lot more thought into our route planning before we reached the turning point of Tonga.
It was so great to see Bill and Amy again and catching up on stories of their adventures. Last evening Amy was telling us a story and mentioned a boat they had met with 2 small adopted Chinese girls. S/V Red Thread!! What a small world! We had met S/V Red Thread back in the Caribbean. They sailed to Galapagos, Easter Island, Chile (where a storm caught them at anchor and damaged the boat on rocks and took a year to repair), back to Easter Island and all the way through the South and North Pacific to Hong Kong. They sailed the farthest distance in one year of any cruising boat we have every heard of -- almost 15,000 NM from southern tip of Chile to Hong Kong in just under 12 months. They met Bill and Amy somewhere near the end of that long journey to Hong Kong. Such a huge ocean and 2 boats we know happen to meet up.
Love catching up with old friends!