Sunday, October 6, 2013

Our first passage!

~I wrote this last night but was unable to access internet to post it. We have some spotty internet now and I have been trying to upload photos to put with it but it's a no go and would much rather be out exploring or doing some sort of boat job (not really but I don't want to be glued to the computer) so will hopefully get some photos up in the next few days.~

Well, we finally did it! We left Mooloolaba and have headed north. I was hesitant to announce our departure for fear of jinxing us after our long series of bad luck but we have made it so I can finally share our success! After waiting so long for our engine mounts to arrive and install them, we were disappointed to find that the northerlies had set in. This basically eliminated any chance we had of heading north. We were disappointed and wondered if we had made the right decision by having our mounts shipped for cheaper from further away but decided to spend the next few months sailing around Moreton Bay before heading south after Christmas instead. As a surprise, we found that we had a less than 48 hour window of Southerly winds starting late Thursday night and decided to give it a go! Bryce’s uncle Tim and our friend Grace, came along for the ride. We were prepped and ready to go first thing Friday morning. We had some breakfast and made sure we were all well-medicated (sea-sickness prevention to preempt any comments) as the seas were predicted to be high and the winds predicted to be low to make for a very choppy ride. After being in the anchorage for so long, I felt the need to check our “site” and make sure we weren’t leaving anything behind. Everything was attached! Right off the bat the anchor chain got jammed and Tim needed to perform surgery on it so we could secure the anchor before we went through the bar.

The rest of the days sailing passed relatively uneventfully or so I thought. The winds that were supposed to be 6 knots were actually more than 25 knots which made for a rough ride, we were averaging about 7 knots and even got up to 8 at one point.  You know how in movies and TV shows, when people are in a moving car and it is very clear that the background behind them is fake? That’s how it felt. These massive seas coming in and out of our line of vision, with wonderful coastline passing on one side and absolutely nothing but water on the other. The water was a beautiful deep blue-green and every now and then I was able to see through the top of a wave and noticed it’s colour changed to a lighter sea-foam green. Tim and Bryce both saw dolphins on separate occasions but Grace and I missed out. We still were all able to nap and just relax all while keeping watch. We were sailing for about 12 hours.

We anchored overnight behind Double Island Point. Shortly before we arrived we noticed that the boom topping lift (a line which holds the boom up) was flying loose. We were unable to retrieve it so quickly rigged up a replacement using the spinnaker halyard and once we anchored, I quickly climbed up the mast to untangle it from the antennae that it was caught around. In preparation to anchor, Bryce went to turn on the engine, only to find that we couldn’t put in it in neutral in order to start. To prevent the propeller from turning while we were underway, Bryce had put the gear into reverse. Without being able to engage neutral, we were unable to start. Bryce checked the throttle and gear cables but they were ok. Thankfully, Tim was here and had seen a similar issue on cars so was able to give the prop shaft a tiny turn to mesh the gear teeth and problem solved.

We left Double Island Point this morning a bit behind schedule. The wind had eased and we were afraid to miss our window of entry through the Wide Bay Bar (it should only be passed on or just before high tide) so we motor sailed the whole way there. Thankfully it was only a two hour trip. We made each waypoint through the bar without problems and with about fifteen minutes to spare. We then tacked our way up the channel before finding an anchorage. Grace unfortunately was sick the majority of the time! Poor thing! :( She caught the bus back to Brisbane this morning. Hopefully we haven’t scared her off completely!

Bryce and Tim have just come back from an afternoon of fishing and are both quite happy, having perfected the art of using a cast net and catching their dinner - a beautiful    flathead and whiting. They also were able to use the remnants to put out a crab pot which will hopefully have their lunch for tomorrow in it in the morning.

If you remember a few weeks ago, I was so excited to have seen one jelly fish... Well there are thousands here just floating past the boat. Bryce thinks I’m crazy but I am so in awe of them! Their accordion-like movements are just beautiful and the contrast of their translucent blue colour with the water around them is just stunning.

The stars are just brilliant here as well. It does help that it is a new moon. We will definitely all sleep well tonight and bonus - we get to sleep in tomorrow!


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Check out the photos from this trip here

12 comments:

  1. Hooray! Wonderful news and well done. Thank goodness for Tim who saves the day once more. He'll have to take off his cape and mask. Good job Tim!

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  2. Yep, you are crazy. Jelly fish are going to become so passé after you sail through a billion of them :p

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    1. I think they are absolutely majestic. Tim and Bryce have both seen them in a new light through my eyes!

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  3. 25 knots when you were expecting 6! Thank goodness you pre-medicated

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    1. We are currently sitting in the cockpit a very rolly anchorage with about 26 knots of wind! None of us can get anything done!

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  4. Amazing ! good work guys!

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  5. You know you can drive out do D.I. Point... :P

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    1. We did see a couple of cars on the beach!

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  6. Wow - you did it! You made the big start. We're so happy for you both!!! The photos are great and we always love the stories. Enjoy!

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