Graham Symonds helped me strip sails off and stash them away before he flew back to Fremantle, and then I doggedly worked through my "to-do" list as every day seemed to grow a little hotter, a little sweatier, and more tropical than the one before it.
I soon adopted a routine of working in the mornings and swimming in the pool in the afternoons. With, of course, the odd cocktail or cold beer for sundowners.
It feels dreadful leaving a boat to just sit in the blistering tropical heat over summer, but there's nothing much else to be done and Summer back home is calling.
It's a different world back in Torquay, and there will be a whole new "to-do" list when I'm back on the boat again too. The plan is to make a few trips North over the summer to keep an eye on the Big Cat, before setting off again next year. Having grandkids now based in Far North Queensland gives me one more reason to keep commuting up there, so I don't mind at all.
Meanwhile in Torquay I've been working through new mapping, navigation and weather-forecasting software for next year, and tossing around lots of options. SEAiq, VentureFurther, iSailor, OpenCPN, MacENC, Google Earth, PredictWind Offshore, WeatherTrack, HF WeatherFax and XGate are all getting a look-in, as well as upgrades to our existing Navionics package. The advances in technology are amazing and the potential uses for our iPads, mobile phones and laptops are boundless. Now, where were those paper charts....
Torquay's all about surfing, too, so I've been gradually getting back in wave riding trim after suffering a cruel back injury soon after my return...
On the menu for April is a surfing trip (without the boat) to The Maldives, so I'm hoping the tropical weather theory will stand up.
And in May, we'll be back on "El Gato" and heading for Cairns, and a whole new adventure.