We spent yesterday relaxing and a nice walk along the beach to the pink lake. We also moved the boat to tuck in tight to the corner of the bay, as the wind was due to increase. I’d got the photo I wanted, of Duplicat in front of the pink lake :). Its been very comfortable tucked into the corner, but we can see the bigger swell and wind outside the bay.Today we attempted Flinders Peak. We had very little information on the route, just that it was marked with survey tape. We guessed it was from
A couple of hours ago, we dropped the hook off Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago. We need some time to recover (and do laundry!). Everyone is quite tired but happy to have made it across the majority of the bight. From this point, its just day hops with a couple of overnights. No multi-night jobs. Phew!Its a stunning spot, with a very vivid pink lake just over from the beach. To our west is Flinders Peak, which we’ll try and climb whilst we’re here. Reckon we have a few days here to
Under 100nm to go now, so we’ll definitely be in tomorrow. With any luck, tomorrow morning which would be nice. Wind is still quite light, but is due to pick up a bit. We thought that yesterday though, and it didn’t pick up for long.Not much else to report. We’ve settled into a reasonable watch routine, as well as managing the other boat jobs (such as making water). We managed some decent sailing under spinnaker yesterday but today its been mostly screecher on its own. It may be worth putt
Day 4, and we’re still plodding along. Today has been spinnaker day, with winds not getting above 11 knots and almost directly behind us. We bumped north a bit overnight to try and avoid a very light patch, which may have worked - but its still pretty light where we are. We’re making a good enough speed to reach Middle Island on the 28th (Sunday). We continue to see very few boats - 1 fishing boat overnight, which was about 6nm away. Visible by its lights, and on radar but never close enough
Just after I sent the last blog, we hooked a decent sized southern bluefin tuna. Got it to the transom, then lost if off the hook! We did get another smaller one today which made lunch, but hoping for a big one again! Though we do have to try to decode the rather Byzantine Western Australia fishing rules about what we can keep and how!Other than that, all is well. It continues to be pretty calm in the sea-state department. Light winds in the morning, building to 15-20 in the afternoon sea breeze
We knew today would be light on the wind front, and it really has! We’re heading NW to skirt around the bight, mainly to avoid the centre of the high pressure that sits right on our path. Thats the cause of today’s light stuff... Fortunately, the wind has now filled in, and we’re making progress under sail again which is always better!Not much to report. We’ve made use of the day to do a few little projects but otherwise generally relaxed watching TV (or in my case doing some programming
A slightly delayed departure, but we got underway having sorted the fridge issue. Next up we had to dodge the Regatta fleet which seemed intent on chasing us down past Taylor Island. They went west of it, we went east - then they came back at us up the east side. Was great to see them powered up and absolutely flying!We had a bit of a washing machine ride down past Williams Island, with plenty of current against us - but we bashed through it fine. Since then we’ve had pretty light winds, so ha
Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln
Flinders is a big deal around South Australia. He explored the coastline and got to name large chunks of it. When we went for a walk ashore at Reeves Point, Kangaroo Island, we met a couple of guys who explained a bit about things.Reeves Point is where the first settlers arrived on Kangaroo Island. The original plan was for Kingscote to be the capital of South Australia but conditions were tough and it wasn’t long before they relocated to what is now Adelaide. Reeves point still has the mulber
Best laid plans...
We were doing pretty well, reefed down for the night, made some good progress and when the wind eased, shook the reefs out around 2:45am. Alas we made it to the Backstairs Passage a little late just as the wind turned on the nose. Motoring in 3knots of current was painful!To compound things, the Kingscote anchorage and docks are not easy for us to resupply, so back to the original plan - over to Port Lincoln which is mostly on the way anyway.Except for another wrinkle - it turns out to be the Ad
Today was one of those days. The seas were flat, the wind was just right, the sun scorched, the sails trimmed and we just glided along in the company of thousands of dolphins. And one seal.Ok, maybe it wasn’t thousands of dolphins, but it sure felt that way. From my watch overnight, when I had torpedo streaks of phosphorescence aiming at the boat, to a breakfast display which cried out for the drone. We’ve been in their company all day.We had fun with the timezone too. Ben arrived late to ta
Goodbye Roaring Forties
After a rather windy and lively night, we made it safely out of the roaring forties. The wind has moderated quite a bit, and with it the sea state (which may also be because we’re easing north of the Bass Strait influence now too).All continues well onboard. Some weather conundrums - a front coming with a brief period of northerlies before the wind clocks back to the south. We may head west along the south side of Kangaroo Island to avoid the worst wind, or we may tough it out over the top. Th
No wind, then too much!
The lot of the sailor - its either no wind, or too much. We had no-wind earlier and were motoring along on glassy flat seas with a slight swell from the south west. Now we’re in the Bass Strait with up to 30knots of wind on the beam and its quite lively, to say the least! Quite the contrast to our sail across the Bass Strait on our way to Tasmania - under spinnaker on my birthday.All good onboard, making reasonable progress but the gourmet cooking is on hold for a night.Hoe about a joke. Mothe
Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour
We left Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour this morning. What an incredible place! So lucky to have been able to spend 4 nights there.There is a book called The Shank which shows some of the incredible anchorages that you can visit in the area. We saw a copy in Claytons house which you can visit and even have a bath there if you want (provided there is rain water available and you stoke the stove for a few hours). In the book there is the quote: This is an area where mankinds heavy, coarse, rapacio
After a night in the Pigsties anchorage in Recherche Bay, which was lovely and flat despite the swell outside, we set off early for Port Davey.The first few hours was a cracking sail at up to 9 knots with the wind aft of the beam. We passed a few wooden boats on their way around too, then lost the wind and had to motor or motor sail the rest. Ah well, at least it wasn’t blowing 35knots! Its hard to put into words how beautiful the coastline is around the bottom of Tasmania - simply stunning an
We really enjoyed our time in Hobart. Berthed on Elizabeth Street Pier, right in the centre of the city was really convenient. A few things were closed due to the pandemic, but we managed to sample whisky, lots of wine, cycle down Mt Wellington on our folding bikes, walked around the botanical gardens, did MONA and the maritime museum as well as all the inevitable boat jobs. They also had a small Wooden Boatshow complete with fireworks, and we met some of the wooden boats that berthed around us
Let’s try again with the WA Plan
I had so many plans last year that were totally written off by the pandemic. Fiji and Vanuatu were out pretty quickly. Getting to the Kimberly followed when Western Australia closed their borders. I got stuck in the Whitsundays on a bridging visa whilst the Australian Border Force took 4 months to decide on my visa. However, I made it up to Cairns and got some good diving in with various crew along the way who have all been great!New Year’s Eve fireworks in Sydney were ruled out when the North
From Pancake Creek we got a weather window to head to the Swains Reefs, part of the Great Barrier Reef. We had high hopes for the diving out there - so an overnight sail in a falling wind was called for. The wind actually held longer than we had feared, and we sailed to within a few hours of the target reef - Pike Reef.Unfortunately, the reef is in a pretty bad way. The diving was not great, even on the SE side. Lots of dead coral, not the huge number of fish we’d have hoped for and no sharks.
Hiding from the weather
We had a nice couple of days at Lady Musgrave island, but the coral wasn’t up to much unfortunately. The weather didn’t allow us to dive either, as the promised calm did not really appear.The service boat joined us in there for a couple of nights, and we ended up with a pyjama party at 10pm as a squall hit and spun us around 180degrees. All 3 boats had people on deck, looking to see everything was ok.The forecast was showing a 3-4 day period of strong winds, so rather than stay put, and not
The 150km restriction has been lifted, so we are continuing north, as are many boats. After our quick scrub in Wathumba Creek, we headed to Bundaberg Marina and offloaded our anchor and chain for some regalvanishing treatment. Behold the shiny result, along with the anchor and chain from Jadean...Unfortunately, the chain from Jadean did not take the treatment and had to go back. Ours was fine, so we reloaded and finished our prep work, which included adding a 2nd crew member, Ronnie - the design
I’ve been behind Fraser Island for a couple of weeks, after the long solo sail up from Moreton Bay. The bonus sand bar at Double Island point makes for a perfect anchorage for catamarans, as its quite shallow - but the poor monos have to camp outside in the swell which persistently rolls around the point.From there I headed across the notorious Wide Bay Bar, which was no drama in the westerly wind. I had an appointment to collect crew - who was previously on a Wharram catamaran in Indonesia bu
In truth, the town is a bit run down, but we loved it. There are lots of lovely heritage buildings and beautiful parks.We had a wander around and found a home brew store where I was able to stock up on sodium metabisulphate for the watermaker, and we found the best pie shop.One of the nicest areas was their Gallipoli to Armistice park. Beautifully done, peaceful, respectful, moving. Very nice.It seems that Maryborough is not often visited by yachts, but we enjoyed our morning ashore. We’ll
On a bit of a whim we decided that the run up the Mary River to Maryborough would be a bit of an adventure, especially with charts from before the huge floods in 2011 and 2013. The run up the river was fine after some shallow moments at the Horseshoe back in the entrance.We had a stunningly peaceful night at anchor - there is a lot to say for river life! Flat, wind protection from the banks, just the 180 degree spin at high and low tide. We are about 20ft off the bank and its never been an issue
Sometimes keels just suck
I snuck in behind the sand bar that extends from Double Island point to get some relief from the swell that you can see hitting the bar. Even though the wind was SE, and the swell was from E and SE, it was getting pulled around the point and onto the bar. It was thoroughly unpleasant our where the monohull is (if you look closely).I made it in daylight so was able to sneak in just on dusk. Its quite skinny on water, but I’ve had enough for the time I’ll be here.If ever there were an example
So we are all supposed to be staying at home, and indeed, some of us are! However there are a lot of boats out and about. Fishing is an allowed activity which accounts for some - and there are plenty of folks like me, livingaboard but stuck.There are also a lot who are definitely flouting the rules, but as long as its not too upfront, the police and coastguard are letting it slide a bit.The coastguard boat came to notify me about the exclusion zone around North Stradbrooke island, and we had a c
All that power!
I mentioned that I’d put more solar power onto Duplicat whilst she was on the hard. We now have 3 x 330w on the hardtop (from before) and 3 x 375 watts over the davits (new). So why do I want 2.1kw of solar? The simple answer is... hot water!The old setup was pretty close to meeting all our daily needs every day. We could spend quite a bit of time at anchor without having to run the generator (other than if we were diving, and thats only a short 30min runs to fill tanks). This included making
What a difference a month makes!
I arrived back in Australia nearly a month ago, with some great plans scoped out and some nice crew lined up. Hannah and Erik from Sweden would join me, and possibly 1 other on the sail out to Lord Howe Island, and then onto Fiji where Amanda would rejoin too.First I had some hard work to do - so it was a quick launch at RQYS, then down to the Boatworks. Already it was impossible to find toilet paper in the shops (fortunately, I had left some of that onboard, just not much food).Boatworks was as
Seeing occasional spurts of data on the phone, and dodging fishing vessels. Seems we are almost there.Yesterday was fun at times - we had the parasailor up for a while which was lovely, drifting along - but the wind dropped to the point it was trying to self-sock, so we dropped it and motored until midnight.On David’s watch, we turned the engine off and have been sailing all night. Now we’re thinking about the parasailor again possibly until we get behind Moreton Island.All being well, we’
Slow and steady
After a couple of days making good progress, today we hit the light stuff. Already the wind dropped and shifted aft, leaving us a little slow overnight. Presently we have ENE force 4 occasionally 3, and occasionally shifting NE.The southerly flowing Eastern Australian Current really picks up around 154 degrees East (to maybe 2-3 knots), and we’re 47 minutes east of that point, so we’re continuing our SW course to intercept that. The wind is due to go very light at some point so I expect some
Almost out of the tropics
Making good progress, but we’ll cross out of the tropics soon. It wasn’t too chilly overnight but dawn felt a little cool! Everyone is in long sleeves now, with more layers on the night watches.We hit a snag with our bowsprit yesterday, which will need some welding in Australia, so for now we’re back to just the genoa. Doing well though, and the current and wind forecasts seem to be in our favour. Still expecting to be into Brisbane by Monday.