The clocks have been turned back an hour and so it is officially the end of summer in Australia, although, as is usually the case for Melbourne's autumn, we are enjoying the best weather of the year. Magnificent sunny days with temperatures in the mid twenties. It has been a busy few months for us with a trip to South America for a Very Important Wedding as well as fitting in some work periods to replenish the coffers. Plans are afoot for the cruising season ahead though. Flights are booked, VNF permit has been purchased, more books and charts ordered, a new bow thruster impeller sourced and purchased online, insurance paid and I've been working hard at French lessons in an effort to improve my shopping abilities beyond 'deux baguettes s'il vous plait.' I thought I was doing quite well until I watched the first episode (on BBC) of the new series of the French detective programme 'Spiral' (http://engrenages.canalplus.fr/ or in English http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0072wk) and I understood about one word in ten. However, as my classes haven't focused on vocabulary covering descriptions of horribly mutilated, murder victims and our role plays have been more along the lines of how to order dinner rather than what to say to a burly policeman who's got you in a headlock and is accusing you in a very loud voice of some sadistic crime I shouldn't be too downhearted I suppose.
Over the past few days I've been attempting to get to grips with Google maps and have added a map of last year's trip showing our ports of call. You can find it on a page link on the right. I'm still working out how to do it and it's not finished but hopefully it'll give you some idea of the places we visited and perhaps it might eventually prove of some value to other boaties.