If I ever go long distance sailing again, I would want a boat at least 40 ft long, as with this one can earn a living. Most of the boats we meet are bigger than ours and I now have a very clear idea of the type of boat best suited to this kind of life. How you would have reacted off Maracaibo, I don’t know, but the rest of it I think you should enjoy, once you got over your initial fears. I think that Penny will want to go back to sea again. With her own charter boat, she says.

Tell Len that I will try to write to him when we get to sea, and in the mean time to go onto the bridge and drop a plumb line over and measure the height. Seriously, I am worried about this because we have no way of lowering our mast and will have to find somewhere to moor or dock outside if we can’t get under. Our mast is 33ft 6ins and mounted on deck, so that 40ft should give us clearance. What is the rise and fall of tide in Perth? Could we get under at low water springs? Where is the next place up or down the coast we could safely keep Stella M?

Dot and Bluey Bradfield built a 31ft boat in Perth and sailed it to England. How did they manage? We have heard that the import tax on yachts entering Aussie is under revision and may be abolished. We hope so. If we had a really good offer for the boat we would sell her but we would feel real bad about not completing the whole trip in her. Penny had gone over to Tom’s boat to cook some cakes and tarts for him and us to take with us. Tom’s boat is 31 tons and his galley is larger that our saloon. He must be nearly 60, sails single handed. Very nice fellow.

Our next address for mail will be Tahiti, which we should reach in 6 weeks, with lots of luck. I have yet to find out the address after that, not knowing what the post office facilities are on Tonga, Fiji or the New Hebrides. Possibly they have a British Resident Minister or something. I hope you are all in the pink, with lots of fun and laughs as in the old times, and that you are enjoying lots of fresh meat, cream cakes, hard butter, dairy cream, boiled apple puddings and all the other things we keep dreaming about and you probably take for granted. Make us really jealous. Tell us about them in your letters.

Goodbye for now
All my love

Sim

P.S I have just read this through and apologise for all the mistakes. The anchorage is rather exposed and the boat rolling like mad and typing has given me a splitting head but I have still to write to Minnie in time to post it before we leave.

Sim.

P.P.S We are now down to our last gas mantle having been unable to obtain them since we left Bristol. If they are obtainable in Perth we will be very grateful if could send some to Tahiti. They are very light and would not cost much to post. The label reads “VERITAS. ALPHA. Inverted mantle No M3772. Bijou fitting. Makers-Veritas Gas Mantle Works, Wandsworth, London.” Any similar inverted mantle would do, with an interior diameter of 5/8 ins.

I forgot to ask you if the packing cases had arrived from Bristol. We made a tape recording on Roscops which we are sending you. Before he left, Mervyn Lippiat sailed his 50ft cat right alongside us and handed me a spear gun, which he said was a spare. His wife had heard Penny say how much she would like one. In this lark, everyone goes out of their way to help each other. There seem to be very few objectionable characters, and hardly any snobbery among the real ocean cruising types. Possibly because they have all seen nature at her closest, best or worst, and realized what small beer man really is.

At the chart office in Bristol we were told that charts were readily obtainable at Panama and advised to buy them here for the Pacific. Here we find that the stock is very small. Out of the 14 charts I wanted they had only one. By special dispensation we were allowed to buy them at the local U.S. Navy barracks, but they are not as good as the British, and they put us back 20 dollars.  Never mind, we shan't need to buy them on the second time round; In Barbados I had my best new specs pinched and am now managing on my old ones, but the movement of the boat stops me reading a lot.

It’s very funny, when we are at sea, after ten days or so we start looking forward to our arrival in port, but after a short while in port unless it is a really nice place we long to be at sea again. Here we are itching to go, but can’t seem to get the gear and stores squared up.

Dried up now

Love Sim.


 


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