11 Dec 2017.
Today has been stressful. In fact, the whole weekend has been full on and then today was the cherry on top.
I woke up Sunday morning to a message from Chae to tell me that he’ didn’t think it was going to work with the crew member that we had hired for the trip home, can I please find someone else….’ Yeah, sure babe, let me just pull an experienced sailor out of nowhere on the week before Christmas! No big deal….
I had my mum’s side of the family Christmas party organized for the day at my house. A day that he was meant to be home for. He was sitting on the marina in Tonga and I was here staring down a day of kids and people at my house! The day had started suddenly to say the least!
I tried most of Sunday to contact people, while being a terrible, exhausted, useless host! Luckily my extended family are the kind of people that will get in and do what needs to be done, so the day went relatively smoothly. It was actually lovely to have them all here, for the last Christmas that we will have at this house. It was emotional really.
Nothing was achieved in the way of crew finding…If we were not able to find someone, the boat would likely have to stay in Tonga and Chae and his dad fly home and we sort it next year. There was talk of packing up and all flying up to start the trip from there possibly. This was not ideal as the insurance stated we needed to have Waterhorse in NZ waters for their cover to be applicable, and the longer we left it the higher the chances of cyclones coming through were. The weather window for this week was looking good, and sitting in Tonga with no crew was not….
Today brought another day of children and chores and packing and you guessed it…finding crew!
We had hoped that the agent they were using in Tonga for Customs Clearance detail would be able to find someone but there was no luck there, so the ball was passed back to me. I spent hours and hours on the phone, emailing, Facebook messaging, googling, stalking crew finding sites and calling random people that I had found off these sites to see if anyone was keen.
Breakthrough at around 1pm, we had our man! I was in the process of finalising his flights when he had a client issue come up for his business and had to pull out. I was devastated to say the least…
Back to the stalking the crew sites and calling random people for several more hours…
I found a post from a man who had recently needed crew for a similar passage and had arrived in NZ a few weeks before, called him and left a message, not thinking that he would get back to me. Well get back to me he did, and he gave me two names to try.
I called the first guy, and asked if he wanted to fly to Tonga tomorrow and sail a boat home for 7 to 9 days….! I can only imagine what this man must have thought, receiving the call. Some random woman asking the impossible basically….
After a good half an hour of conversation while strategically trying to hide in different areas of the house and garden from my screaming and fighting children (they have a knack of finding you as soon as you are on the phone and needing you attention urgently!) he had asked all the questions he needed to and was going to call me back. I thought it may be a possibility, but really had no chance to think on it as the kids needed dinner.
20 minutes later, I had a call back, and he was in! I was so relieved, happy and emotional I almost cried!! (I told him this and I am sure he thought I was a complete weirdo!!)
So, all in all it has been a ridiculously stressful and emotional day, on fact the whole weekend! It has been draining and I am so damn happy that we have someone to fly up and help sail our new home, home! The thought of not having my whole family together for Christmas, and the boat not even being in New Zealand for the work that needs to be done and the stuff that needs to be transferred to it while I pack the house was heavy on my mind.
Tonight will be an early night for me. And hopefully a full night’s sleep, for the first time in a long while.