Trio and the high seas
jT - sunny and perfect weather on deck
10/24/2009, 200 miles to go, 2 knot current!
Yesterday we had a pleasant surprise, the VHF crackled on 16 and we were called by Trio... turns out Kirsty had spotted a sailboat in the distance and now Trio, George and Annie, were calling us. In all of our time doing passages, in the last 16 months and 12,000 miles we have never came upon a friend while on the high seas. This was a first for us, and Kirsty drove us right up near them.
Trio we met in Ecuador and then went on to see again in the Galapagos, French Polynesia, Suwarrow, Fiji and New Cal. The are heading back to Brisbane, so we will certainly call in on the trip down the coast of Australia. With a chance at sea meeting, we had a chat with George and Annie over the VHF. George had just finished changing his sails from a head sail over to a spinnaker, and now they were keeping pace with us. Over the day we chatted a bit, and just watched each other during our horizon checks. Nice having friends that close.
Near evening, we had dinner, a great pasta as Kirsty pushes to finish all of our fresh food before we hit Oz. The wind is predicted to shift to the North, so right after dinner we gybed the main and poled out headie. This let us point further to the North and make up some of the 10 miles we were left of the rhumb line. On Kirsty's watch, we drifted 15 miles to the North as we churned ever closer to Australia. As 2am came about she woke me for my watch, and we decided we needed to gybe back! Nothing like a full sail gybe to wake you up in the morning! I sent Kirsty to bed and continued to try and trim the sails and get us back on course and up to speed. Seemed like whatever i did, the sails were still occasionally flogging and we seemed to be going really slow, even though I could hear the water rushing by for what is normally 6 knots. HMMMMMM???? CURRENT! Turns out we are starting to hit a current coming from the South East... It is pushing against us at 2 knots and slightly form the South. So our arrival time jumped from 40 hours back into the 50 and 60 hour range... that and an occasional BANG of the main as it backs and slots around....
All is well and that's the fun of sailing! We should still be in Bundaberg sometime on Tuesday... so today we'll have to bake our last cake... yellow cake with Chocolate frosting.... hmmm we also have some walnuts that need to be eaten... maybe some fruit and walnut bread for breakfast! :) Seee... it's all about the fun of sailing :)
The fishing drought has been broken
10/23/2009, About half way between New Cal and Oz
We are just about to pass though the half way point between New Caledonia and Bundaberg. The wind and waves have eased a little and we are now having a fast and pretty comfortable sail across. We expect the wind to continue to drop as we get closer - lets hope it holds for long enough for us to sail into port.
The best thing about the passage to date has been the huge 41" Dorado we caught last night just on dusk. Its been a while since we've got a fish on board and have lost plenty of lures in the pursuit so it we were both very excited to see that we had finally hooked up one of our favourites. Lucky for us we are allowed to take fish into Australia so we will be enjoying it for a few meals to come. We caught him on a green and yellow lure and have now swapped over to a pink lure - Jeff is in pursuit of a tuna before we make landfall.
Cranky people dont get chocky cake
kb - cranky as
10/21/2009, 85nm west of Noumea
Here we are absolutely belting along towards Australia from Noumea. We left this morning around 8am after 3 wonderful weeks in New Caledonia. It was one of the highlights of our trip and a place we would definately go back to for some extended cruising.
Right now we are getting the s&*t kicked out of us by the waves that go along with 20-25 knot SE trade winds, but on the upside we are currently averaging just over 7 knots, which if we continue on at this pace will make this one of our fastest passages. Lucky we made some chocolate cake before we left - Jeff and I are currently fighting over it to see who gets the biggest bit - the crankiest person wins so it looks like I'm all over it and Jeff has no show!
Leaving Noumea, Check New Photos!
jT, Cloudy and Raining
10/19/2009, Noumea, New Caledonia
Our last day in New Caledonia is wet and raining! As Australia will be barely in Spring time when we arrive, it's time to get used to the cold again. I have to say that New Caledonia has been a pleasant surprise. MUCH nicer than I had assumed it would be, and as it was the last country on the trip we didn't spend as much time as we would have liked. As Kirsty mentioned, Noumea is chock full of sailboats, with one of every four locals owning a boat of some sort. The photo with this blog is of artwork on the main foreshore.
Also note that we have finally had the internet long enough to go back and post photos for the last few weeks of blogs... you might want to scroll back a few pages and check them out.
Next stop: Bundaberg, Australia!
Hanging out in Noumea
KB, Sunny, warm
10/17/2009, Noumea, New Caledonia
We have spent the last week since Mum and Dad left us just hanging around Noumea relaxing. This might be the last time for a while that we get the opportunity to just sit back and take it easy so we are making the most of it. Friday night was the send off party for the Port to Port rally that we are joining to make the final leg of our trip into Australia. We will be leaving Noumea Tuesday or Wednesday and heading for Bundaberg. There are 44 boats in the rally, which leaves from a few different ports across New Calendonia and Vanuatu and once we get to Bundaberg it will be a last time for us to catch up with some of the wonderful friends we have met along the way. Everyone will be heading off to do their own thing while they wait out cyclone season. For a lot of folks Australia will be the last port of call on this adventure and for others it's a great place to stop over before they continue on with their sailing adventures.
We are planning to head down to Sydney for Christmas and New Year and are looking forward to seeing some of the QLD and NSW coastline as we go. The best part is that there are lots of great spots to stop that are close to each other along the way - I can't wait for some short hop sailing - more time in anchorages!