My head told me making landfall in the evening was not ideal and so all my senses became more alert. But my heart simply melted at the sight of a beautiful sunset decorating the landscape of Australia. Those peaks are Australia! This is my first time on this continent! The city lights appeared and drowned out the entrance marker lights. Numerous giant freighters started to light up. We decided to follow one ship into the NW channel, and for hours, dodged them one by one coming and going. Even inside the channel, we were still exposed to the wind and waves and got tossed around. I sucked on a piece of dark chocolate to numb the intimidation. Marker after marker, we concentrated on flashing green, flashing red, and strong currents that almost got us crashing into a cardinal marker. During the 360 scan every two minutes, I caught a glimpse of the moonlight on the water. It was only one of the many stimulations and things to process in my brain. Wow, what a contrast to the previous night when it was the main focus. Then it hit me, my goodness, that was it. That was the end of our trip.
Arriving in Australia had another kind of exhilaration to it, just as significant as arriving in the Marquesas. We went up the Brisbane river at dawn and realized, we did it. We made it across the Pacific Ocean. We made it to Australia. Of course, now that it's done, I think it would have felt unfinished to leave the boat in New Caledonia. That could have easily happened. Oh, how thankful I was to arrive!
I think it will require some time for all this to sink in. I had complained, cursed, cried, sobbed, and shouted out of frustration on some passages. The sucky part about cruising seem to never make it into spoken or written tales about sailing. It is a double-edged sword, a cruel mistress, a love-hate relationship. Yet all of that seems to quickly fade away as each hour goes by, almost as quickly as the saltwater on deck got rinsed away. It's strange how things work that way. Now, I am going look for a Magnum bar. Arh, sweet as!