First Light adventures

29 July 2017 | Paynesville
28 July 2017 | Cape Conran
24 July 2017 | Eden
24 July 2017 | Eden
23 July 2017 | Off Batemans Bay
22 July 2017 | 8nm offshore from Sydney
21 July 2017 | Newcastle
17 July 2017 | Off Pt Stephens
14 July 2017 | Enroute to Australia from Noumea
13 July 2017 | Enroute to Australia from Noumea
12 July 2017 | Enroute to Australia from Noumea
10 July 2017 | Enroute to Australia
10 July 2017 | Enroute to Australia
09 July 2017 | Enroute to Australia
08 July 2017 | Enroute to Australia
06 July 2017 | Noumea
03 July 2017 | Port Moselle Noumea
27 June 2017 | Noumea
25 June 2017 | Enroute from Fiji to Noumea
24 June 2017 | Enroute from Fiji to Noumea

Pirates thwart plans

01 May 2011 | Maldives
Early January I received an email from a sailing friend Matt, the skipper of Island Time. He asked if I was interested in sailing with him from the Maldives to the Med via the Red Sea in March and April. I jumped at the idea as Di was teaching during that period and I was at a loose end. Also it would be good experience before we undertake the same passage next year.

However in the week before I flew to the Maldives to join Island Time, Somali pirates captured the American yacht Quest and the four American crew. A few days after their capture the crew were all killed by the pirates. We had met them in Vanuatu in 2009, so this was a real shock to us. Quest was captured in an area that up till then had been considered a low risk area for pirates. Clearly the pirates now had the capability of travelling thousands of miles from the Somali coast and were now after yachts as well as merchant ships. In the weeks that followed the Quest incident, the Danish yacht ING was also captured and the crew of seven taken to Somalia.

These two incidents and other reports from yachts making the passage to the Med via the Red Sea indicated that the risk of being attacked by pirates had dramatically increased.

When I joined Island Time in the Maldives, Matt was still keen to make the passage to the Med. But as we learnt more about the pirate situation and also political uprisings in Egypt and other Middle East countries around the Red Sea, he reluctantly had to concede that it was now too dangerous to attempt the passage.

The decision was made to sail from the Maldives back to Sri Lanka. Spend some time there, then sail back to either Thailand or Malaysia. Our stay in the Maldives came to abrupt ending when we were told by the authorities to leave. Apparently the agent that Matt had used to obtain the required cruising permit and other formalities had not done a thing. The end result of their inactivity was that Island Time with crew had cruised some of the islands without a permit - a situation frowned upon by the authorities.

The passage from the Maldives to Sri Lanka was uneventful - winds were very light so we had to motor a good part of the way. It was hot with the occasional respite when a thunderstorm provided a downpour of rain that cooled the decks, topped up the water tanks and cooled the crew.
Vessel Name: First Light III
Vessel Make/Model: Adams 12
Hailing Port: Melbourne Australia
Crew: Bernie
About: Bernie is passionate about sailing and finally living his dream to cruise long term. Dianne is First Mate and looking forward to many adventures along the way.
First Light III was fitted out and equipped by Bernie and launched in 2004. She is a fractional rigged cutter with a good turn of speed. Specification: Length 12 m. Beam 4m. Draught 2.2m Displacement 7500Kg Engine Yanmar 39HP Saildrive HF radio with email capability High capacity ECH2O [...]
First Light III's Photos - Main
Photos from NC and Vanuatu
1 Photo
Created 15 June 2009
No Photos
Created 14 May 2009

First Light 111 Adventures

Who: Bernie
Port: Melbourne Australia