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We spent five more days on the beautiful island, Tasmania. Gale winds if 60 mph found us here too. We stayed in Launceston and swam daily in the beautiful 50 m city pool.

We caught up with friends, had other people cook for us and generally reacclimatized to civilization. And what do we return to? A prison break, 50 miles from home, that made the Tasmanian paper! Hmm. At least it will be summer. It is with mixed emotions I bid farewell to Tasmania.

We greeted the next caretakers, Graham and Leonie, helped them unload and get settled, and then made a pasta dinner. It was a lively evening and our first glass of wine in 6 weeks!

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I know the feeling when you wave goodbye to your last visitors for the next few months. Bittersweet, but mostly sweet.

We arose early Thursday and departed Deal Island on the Strait Lady. It was the calmest and fastest crossing to Flinders Island we ever had. We saw the sun rise on the cliffs of Deal,

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a last view of the compound,

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sunrise to the east of Bass Strait,

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And sunset from Flinders Island looking west.

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A perfect ending to a fabulous three months. We met lots of interesting, hearty, brave people, took good care of the island and each other, didn’t break anything nor have to be airlifted for emergencies.

Maybe we’ll be back again.

Our departure date is set. The new caretakers arrive Wednesday and we leave Thursday. We’ll get to sleep in the new bed we built for the visitor’s house when we move next door.

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We shoveled and swept sand from the jetty road since we had 116 mm if rain in May. I also found a dead possum and tossed it into the tussocks. Let’s just say I had to shovel the loop of intestines as well. No such thing as paradise. I hope it wasn’t this cutie pie who wanders by our sunroom every night.

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We’ll be busy these final days cleaning and moving. Our food stores worked out surprisingly well. We didn’t run out of anything. I bought too much jam and feta cheese but that’s OK. We are making dinner for the new crew tomorrow and I have to work out what to cook with supplies on hand. Probably a pasta bake, fresh bread and apple pie.

Tim submitted our final report to the ranger and I added a photo of my kitchen improvement. The corner of the stove exhaust fan can surprise you at times.

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I finished the body of my shetland shawl and grafted the two pieces together with the kitchener stitch, can you say “knit, purl, purl, knit” 210 times!?

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Now I’m knitting the edging. It will be lovely. It’s soft as a cloud and warm.

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Now I’m off to clean and do laundry.

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