One of the things I was most afraid of losing from my life after the vestibular ‘event’ that I suffered four months ago and for which I am still having treatment, was my time away in our boat.

As I move through the treatment, one of the maxims they expound is to ‘test your balance and your brain plasticity by doing all that you did before’…

My ear-specialist clarified this by saying it was okay to go out on the boat as long as it was calm. But how calm? And what would be a likely reaction if things didn’t go well? Apparently seasickness (which I have never ever suffered) and a loss of equilibrium once I trod on terra firma.

My husband, (ship’s captain, ship master and general all round good guy) decided that any wind strength below 15 knots would be fine for me. And in particular, winds from the south through to the east, but preferably not from the northeast. He also felt if we travelled at a steady 16-17 knots, I would experience less turbulence from the swell.



Well, all the stars aligned and today was the day. We set off in a light southerly breeze. I steered for a little bit and was ecstatic.


As we headed across The Passage (looking back through the smoke haze to our home – Tasmania is currently beset by 84 bushfires!), I was a touch anxious, confidence not quite restored. But I knew that I HAD to do this to move to the next stage of recovery. So…


Calm and content.


Sailing past Darlington and wondering what the convicts thought when their ships dropped anchor here in the early 1800’s. A super English writer, highly popular and with a massive readership, is collaborating with me in 2017 and we plan to jointly write a novel about transportation to Tasmania. It’s astonishing how mindful it has made me of my surroundings.


The cliffs could almost be painted by hand.


The beaches on Maria Island are whiter this year than ever. I think the air is so perennially hot, the country so bleached dry and the water so cerulean, that a strip of sand is positively snow-white in contrast.


Relaxed as we pootled into Chinamen’s Bay.



Water at 19.2 degrees at a depth of 6 metres as we motored across the ‘Big Hole’ to the shore of what some call Shoal Bay but what we all call Chinamen’s. I paddled to shore and walked. Feet on solid ground. Felt okay…


Pure un-adulterated heaven. No dizzies. Just floating in the water – drifting in time and a watery space.


My husband noted that the wind was beginning to swing to the east and strengthen, and so he called me back, we loaded the boat, pulled the anchor and headed back in calm conditions, passing the most romantic little ketch on the way.

I’m super tired now but not too off-balance at all. More credit to my hubbie, I think.

It was bliss and I’m hoping that I may just have turned the corner.

Hopefully we can boat again next week.