07/04/2011, Albany West Australia
I passed ducks waddling along the foreshore on my way to the shower in the morning over in the sailing club building. 'Nice weather for ducks,' I mused to myself! Yes, silly I know but oh well, what can I say! It has poured here for five days straight - incessantly and I have pretty much had enough of it!
When we were sailing with Rory and saw the rainbow over the entrance to King George Sound on our way home, he mentioned that this area is known as the rainbow coast and I thought that sounded lovely. Of course to be called the rainbow coast kind of implies a bit of rain - and now I get why it is called that!
Living on the yacht at the marina means that we spend more time out of doors than ever before in our lives and so a rainy day where you might curl up at home and make hot chocolates and read a good book simply doesn't happen. We go outside to get a shower - we could use the shower on the yacht but to get hot water we have to run the engine and that's not practical - besides there are shower facilities for our use - in addition to toilets. So during the course of even a thoroughly wet day we are in and out of the boat - walking in the breaks between rain showers to do many things. It's a different way of living all right!
Liam keeps asking if he can go out and fish - we have to keep reminding him that it actually pouring rain and no one else shares his enthusiasm! He has well and truly caught the fishing bug though after his success with the tuna last week and we bought him a great new rod and reel which he proudly pointed out was featured in the latest edition of the West Australian Fishing Magazine!
Since our storm sailing experience we have been focussed on getting things sorted out - refuelling the tanks, drying the interior of the yacht, putting things to rights from our outing! We have debriefed with Rory, our instructor and are considering making some changes to the rigging of the yacht to give her more capacity to sail to windward. That means adjusting some sails, ditching some and replacing them with other, more efficient ones, to give us better capacity to harness the wind when it is not pushing us easily.
Our yacht is very strong and hardy in the hull, but we can see that her sail set up is more about looks and beauty and less about usefulness so we have some decisions to make!
In talking with Rory though we are encouraged that our yacht is interesting, different and very sturdy. He has made some suggestions about our sail set up which will give us more efficiency - some radical, and some less so and more in keeping with the traditional design of the yacht. Given that we have decided to delay our sailing across the Bite until the onset of the warmer weather, we have decided to spend more time setting up and preparing the yacht prior to our departure.
So we are getting to know Albany better! We have found a couple of places that make a good coffee - they're not Urban Pantry, Cream or even Daniel - but they are worth bothering with! We have got to know quite a few local people and found a lot of friendliness here. It's a very lovely place and of course one of the best things is that King George Sound affords us an immediately accessible place to hone our sailing skills!
It's almost a month since we arrived here and I would have to say that we have adapted to life on a yacht amazingly well. I blew my hair dry this morning for the first time in a week - and have found ways to manage many of the challenges of life aboard a yacht! One thing that I have really enjoyed is the how much the unhurried pace of life has allowed me to enjoy cooking again. I have cooked some of the best meals of my life in my little galley - and had neighbours in to share it! It's been thoroughly delightful!
06/30/2011, Albany West Australia
It was well after eight am this morning when we awoke warm and secure in our beds! Outside it was looking like a sunny day. The boat was still and we were stationary! It felt as though life had returned to normal for us - but of course after our experience we were not who we had been - things had changed for us during the time we were at sea - we had learned valuable lessons, discovered things about ourselves and each other and the challenge now was to process all of that, absorb it and ensure we took all that wonderful learning forwards with us on this amazing adventure.
In the midst of the storm, out in the cockpit I had begun a bit of a list - things that would have made things work easier for us - things we should have had/ done etc.
Today we began to work through the list.
One of the things I noted as I began my list was how thankful I was for a yacht with a centre cockpit.
When we had begun our search for a vessel suitable for us to travel with a family, a centre cockpit was my number one priority. Primarily this was in relation to segregating living areas and bedrooms - it had seemed as we looked at different boats that a centre cockpit allowed for a very clear division in the interior. This was all I had considered - apart from appearances - I liked how they looked. But sitting through the storm in the cockpit with the children I grew very aware of what a wonderful choice we had made in this - and the unexpected benefits.
Being in the centre, the cockpit is the most stable part of the yacht - the bow and stern (I can use the proper terms now!) might rise and fall, pitch and roll, but in the cockpit you get the most comfortable ride possible. Our cockpit is covered and has sufficient seats for everyone - we did discover that the top needs a kind of gutter so that when water comes over the top it doesn't slosh in - but that's not a hard thing to do, Peter says. And yes, it's on the list.
So here is my list:
Clear out one of the storage lockers in the cockpit and bring up, before setting off, my filled thermos flasks and cups. On even a day sail I prepare some soup and hot water in a thermos so that if its rocky I don't have to try and negotiate with the stove - but because it was so rough and it was so hard to go below I found that the soup and hot water stayed there and we stayed in the cockpit cold and hungry. We also have thermal cups (enough for everyone) with secure lids and hook type handles that can slip over rails throughout the cockpit. These are a great thing. On our first serious sail we broke one of my nice china cups - yes, I decided in retrospect that sailing and china tea cups didn't belong together! The thermal cups are a must and I am so glad I bought enough for everyone and spares.
Make sure we have working torches!
Make sure there is a torch in the cockpit at all times - one that is never used for something else and preferably one that also has a red night light as well as the ordinary white light!
Buy a strong light that can be used to check for boats, land etc in the night.
Make sure we have taken the time to check every window latch/hatch latch prior to leaving - as well as secured everything possible inside - its not fun sitting in the cockpit hearing glass smash and wondering what I have not put away. In this situation I realise that we had no expectation of being in these kinds of seas - but Rory, our instructor has said enough times now that I really get it, the sea is unpredictable - I think the best plan now, after this experience, is to prepare for the worst seas every time regardless of what I think will be likely.
Always have sea sick tablets in my pocket! Whiel we gave the children tablets prior to leaving, we had no idea we would be out so long and of course the tablets efficacy is not forever! After a lot of throwing up I finally got back inside and retrieved more tablets - it would have been so much easier to simply pull some from my pocket! Of course once I did go below to fetch some more this is what I did - and I was so glad I had as we ended up out for so much longer than planned!
Check the dinghy is as secure as possible before setting off on any trip!
Check fuel level before going - at the oiutset we had every expectation that the amount of fuel we had would be fine - now we know that before setting out to sea it is wise to have full fuel tanks - while we sail we also happily use a motor to get us out of difficulties. We ended up motoring for twenty two hours to get us into King George Sound against strong winds - we had enough - but it was scary not knowing how long our fuel would last.
Make sure the water tank is full - for the same reasons as with the fuel.
Have waterproof clothing stored In an easy to retrieve location.
We eat mostly protein when at sea - tinned ham and tinned chicken breast chunks (which we call cardboard chicken!) are the easiest - and simplest things to have on hand - if only the chicken breast cans came with a ring pull - so keep a spare can opener in the cockpit locker!
Have a bottle of water in the cockpit locker.
Have lemonade/lemon squash/sugar based drinks on hand to assist in preventing dehydration.
Erina adds that it would have been better to not be wearing her best clothes! But its true that we didn't dress for heavy seas - why would we - we had no expectation that would encounter a storm - but again its about preparing for everything possible because the sea has the capacity to turn things you were expecting .
As well as this list, we have talked about some other things. I think it's important to try to get past the problem of going below deck. We are going to try some desensitising ideas. We are going to begin by simply going down the steps to the back cabin. From this we will keep adding to what we can do, progressing as much as possible until we find it more manageable. Hopefully this will help. If anyone has any other ideas please let me know!
Overall we feel very thankful that our first heavy weather sailing experience has happened - and with a very experienced sailor aboard. We feel that really we did very well. Our yacht handled herself amazingly well and with only a few tweaks we would have managed things better. We have spent today doing mostly washing - we ended up using 7 washing machines at the laundry bar in Albany and filled three dryers! It was a mammoth effort really but at the end of a busy tidying day it was truly delightful to sit down to eat the two Tuna Liam had caught for dinner!
06/29/2011, Southern Ocean West Australia
'Look,' Rory called out, 'There's a rainbow right over Vancouver Point - its like nature is welcoming you home!'
We all stood and peered over the cockpit or through the cockpit windows. It felt very much as if, after giving us a really hard time, nature was saying sorry and welcoming us home - guiding us in!
The past forty eight hours contain many stories - I'll try and tell you as many as I can but some details are a bit blurry - we've had only cat naps and no food for two and a half days - sailing as a form of weight loss - now there's a side you don't often hear about!
At the end of Day 1 :
The sun has sunk down behind the horizon - glorious colours of orange and pink - breathtakingly beautiful. It was in front of us, setting over the ocean as we sailed westward on our intended over-night sail. But before it had fully gone down it was behind us: we had decided to turn back.
It had been a hard few hours. Seasickness was present - Peter has been affected today and to a lesser extent Liam and Erina - but for me it was not sickness that was my enemy but fear.
I have felt like a real wus - scared and wanting to run home!
The day started off blissfully. Calm seas, a real sense of adventure and excitement as we headed off on our first overnighter - thrilled at the fun which lay ahead.
We headed out of King George Sound and out into the great Southern Ocean. We had read wind charts and weather charts, talked extensively with Rory, our Instructor, and left confident that a predicted wind change would assist us to sail back later that day and that a cold front due in the next couple of days was not going to cause us a problem.
Liam was very keen that we put out a line - and delighted when he was assisted by Peter to land (hmm would that be boated?) two good sized blue-fin Tuna - very proud of his achievement. We ate the chicken soup I had made earlier and stored in thermos' , sailed , were awed by the magnitude and beauty of the ocean.
Gradually during the course of the afternoon the seas built and the winds grew. By sunset Argos resembled the scariest big dipper ride I have ever seen. Peter and Rory kept commenting on how well she rode the waves and my fear grew - they seemed to take this wave action as normal when for me it felt like anything but a normal way to spend an afternoon! We were pitching and rolling in a way I was beginning to find alarming.
I could see that Erina too was becoming quite distressed and so after a 'How are all the crew' conversation we decided to turn the boat around and head into calmer seas and set anchor for the night.
The mood changed. Erina, still distressed was able to curl up and sleep. I, of course, was able to reach for my notebook and start to record my thoughts and feelings. Liam was still snoozing and watching, undisturbed by the winds, the sea or my alarm!
It took some effort to turn the boat around and sail back - lots of adjustment to the sails, pulling down some and setting others. Peter and Rory had put on harnesses, clipped to the lifelines, to satisfy my anxiety at watching them working on the wildly moving foredeck.
By the time the first stars began to appear things were more calm and Liam was comfortable enough to ask what was for dinner! Hmmm - now that was a question to ask! I don't find that I feel seasick unless I have to go below deck - I've also found that I feel sicker if I am hungry! What a dilemma - to get food I must go below deck - someone should invent one of those dumb waiters they had in old houses to pull things up and into the cockpit!
After a bit of planning I was able to slip down and grab a couple of things - namely tinned ham and a cutting board and knife - and we got something to eat. Protein is the best food at sea I am told and so we ate the ham and did feel a little nourished.
Meanwhile the seas around us were building and the winds, which by now should have become Westerlies ahead of the cold front, pushing us back to Albany with ease, were still the North wind which had assisted us out of the Sound.
We had to tack and tack and tack, trying to get us facing home in rapidly growing seas. To say it was a long night would be a vast understatement. It's a bit of a blur really, looking back now, but I can tell you that the yacht fared incredibly well despite many difficulties. We had to deal with a forward jib blow out which meant the sail had to be taken out. To do this resulted in us losing our course, and with the push of the still mostly northerly wind, took us a long way out to sea, off the continental shelf, heading further and further from home.
We pressed on, undeterred, with Rory continuously encouraging us and displaying great calm and confidence. Erina and Liam were sleeping in the cockpit. I covered them with quilts and they seemed settled and comfortable, near the adults where they felt safe. Our yacht handled all this amazingly well.
By morning we expected to be close to King George Sound. But by sun rise, when I awoke from my spot in the cockpit next to Erina, I could see only huge and heavy seas and no sign of land anywhere. My heart sank. Rory explained: we had got a long way off course during the night and the westerly wind still eluded us. He had been able, by careful setting of the sails and tacking to direct our path north but we were a long way from land. From Sunrise to Sunset we were caught up in the cold front which was predicted to be coming through after the westerly wind, once we had been pushed safely home. It was a very difficult day. It is compressed in my mind now as I write. I do remember trying to get the children into warmer clothes, heading below deck as needed to achieve this. I remember Peter having to get below to change his soaked through clothes and ending up throwing up. I remember trying hard to get sugary drinks for everyone since it had now been almost 24 hours since we had been able to eat. Somewhere in this time Rory asked if I was worried about the children and wanted to call sea-search and rescue. We discussed our progress and I evaluated the children and we decided that things were ok at this time - it was a relief to me though to know that this was an option I could call upon if I felt things were changing.
During the night we decided to turn on the engine to get some assistance in fighting the still-Northerly wind. But the engine decided this was the time to cough and splutter instead or working properly. Oh what joy. Peter is great with diesel engines - but the engine was - you guessed it - below deck. To attend to it Peter had to spend way more time below than he could manage and was quite ill when he came back out. Unfortunately the engine worked for a while and then had the same issues - Peter knew what the problem was, but to fix it cost him hugely. At one time he came back up to the cockpit and threw up, and then one by one we all did (except for Rory, thankfully) - I wanted to say something funny but I didn't have the energy to voice anything.
The next time Peter had to head below to attend to the engine he came back up saying we were about to lose the dinghy. Yes - the dinghy had come loose and was flapping away wildly. Amazingly Peter and Rory were able to tie it back up, one oar was lost but that was all.
At another point in the night I woke to see Peter holding the wheel. Not so unusual - except that it was no longer attached. Yes, truly - he was even turning it - but it was no longer attached to the pedestal! I thought at first that I was dreaming - I mean surely this couldn't happen? But as I focussed my eyes I could see Rory moving closer and the two of them talking - and then the wheel was put back on and to my relief I could hear the auto-pilot kick in and I knew that yet another problem was fixed! Erina and Liam continued to sleep on and off, wrapped warmly, sipping the drinks I had got for them. Then everyone needed to go to the bathroom! Would the challenges never cease? I suppose that the children needing to pee wouldn't normally be a big deal but we were in big seas and they knew that going below to the bathroom would likely make them sicker. I went down first and came back up saying what a relief it was and quite manageable. Liam couldn't cope and ended up using the vomit bucket to his great relief, and Erina braved it and came down with me. It was hard but we really did all feel better!
By first light we were sailing in much more manageable seas. Rory announced we were not far from Breaksea Island - on the tip of King George Sound. What a reprieve that brought to us all.
In this calmer situation we talked some. Rory told us that we had done really well. The yacht was amazing and a vessel we could be safe in in many, many situations. We had already discussed our thoughts about heading off through the Southern Ocean towards the Bite and Bass Straight and around to Bermagui by Christmas - or waiting until the Ocean was easier to sail. We continued this conversation armed now with our first-hand experience! There was no way we were going to attempt this crossing at anything other than the most favourable time possible. Rory told us of things we could add to the yacht to make her handle more easily. He also told us that during the night we had faced at least two partial knock downs - a full knock-down is where the mast hits the water - our yard arm had been in the water which is called a partial knock-down. This in addition to the struggles with the engine and the steering wheel! Wow - what a night.
After all this you can imagine the joy we all felt at our first sight of land! We still had a ways to go and the first bit of land we saw was not the Sound, but it was still wonderful. Liam asked if it was Australia, which might give you a glimpse of how far we had travelled!
And so the end was in sight and shortly afterward we could see Vancouver Point and then the rainbow.
It was a hard experience and I think we would say that we hoped we never experience a storm like that again - especially with no warning. But we learned the capacity of our yacht, had our first storm with an amazingly good sailor with us who never got flustered or stressed and inspired us with great confidence. It was hard but we did really well. No one complained. No one cried. No one seemed to reach the point of no return and yes, at the end we all talked about things we would do differently next time. We surveyed the damage once we were securely at our mooring, apart from the dinghy oar we lost four wine glasses and a lamp and Peter's mobile phone got wet and will probably never work properly again - nothing else was broken or lost. Despite the almost-knock downs and the wild seas we saw, there were amazingly few problems and once again we felt that we had bought the right boat!
06/25/2011, Albany West Australia
It's raining. I can hear the drops pitter patter on the cabin roof. It's quite melodic. Every now and then the sound of the rain drops mix in with the other sounds around me - the clunk clunk clunk of ropes on a neighbouring yacht hitting the mast, the whooshing of the wind as it whistles and hums by, the gentle lapping of the waves slapping the sides of the boat. It's quite the nautical symphony! And this is how I am awoken on what will be a wet Saturday.
It's a hard day for me.
There are lots of little things to be done. Peter is working on some maintenance issues that have shown themselves to need attention - it would seem as if the previous owner loved to sail more than he loved to look after the yacht! But that's okay - nothing is impossible and on the whole Peter has dealt with each thing as it has arisen - oh we have had a few moments when we felt as if everything was breaking around us - a few moments when rationality got the better of us - but they didn't last - we realised that a lot of things had not been used much prior to our arrival seeing as previous owners have taken her out for a sail and have not lived on board as we are - and so they all seemed to be breaking at the same time. Peter has had to replace a tap in the galley, lots of lights, a fridge that seems to not have worked for some time. Little things. But the toilet pump has also been problematic and some of the smaller things have had flow- on effects to other things.
So today Peter has had some more of these jobs to do.
I went into Albany to pick up some bits and pieces this morning but with a weight that was hard to shake.
The thing is, my fifteen year old has decided to return to Canberra. To leave us.
He told me a few days ago. Asked me if he could go back.
What do you say?
We had always told the children that since they had a father who they didn't live with that if they really didn't want to come on this adventure with us that they had the option to live with him instead. A sort of back-up plan for if the thought of sailing around Australia was simply too much for them.
Suddenly out of nowhere it seems that Michael had decided to take up this option.
It's difficult for me to deal with this outcome. I have been asked to help organise things - call about tickets etc - and I have had to decline. To do so feels like cutting off an essential body part. I just can't help him to leave.
We saw this trip as giving us the opportunity to have some significant input into this young man's life - to have him learn manly skills, character building lessons in a life that was far removed from the high-school-friend dominated life he had been sinking into.
And now helpfully his father is assisting him to walk away.
And it's not that I want unhappy children. This is the dilemma we faced when deciding to take the children and begin this adventure now rather than later when they were older and had left home. Of course we realised that taking them out of school and away from friends would be tricky. But when we looked at what we were giving them it didn't seem like an act of meanness as much as an amazing gift.
The younger children seem to get it. Michael it seemed did too, until the other day.
And now we live with a bit of a dark cloud hovering over us. He will go in a few days. But until he leaves it is a tricky thing to have him here, knowing that he does not want to be, knowing that he and his father are plotting and planning his escape - we feel sad and angry and every emotion in between. And we try and be okay with his decision, try and accept that he has been given the freedom to make this choice, even though we do not like it, but this is always going to be a factor in parenting when there has been a marriage break down - the children always have an out for if they don't like something. And it's sad but it is a reality.
So with the shopping done and the jobs complete we look forward to dinner on the yacht with one of the local fishermen, 'other' Peter - we had a visit earlier in the day by the Frenchman who I now know is named Michel. Hard things aside we are loving the life we have here - absolutely loving the peace, serenity and tranquillity - despite any physical rain and dark clouds that might gather!
06/22/2011, King George Sound West Australia
It was dark when we rounded the curve of the Ataturk Entrance and motor sailed our way back into Princess Royal Harbour - dark and difficult to see where we were going. We aimed towards a solitary red light that Peter assured us he could see looming off in the distance, marking one edge of the marina structure. The wind whipped up more than when we were out in the Sound and we turned the engine off and sailed our way back in. It was eerily quiet and with only the barest of lights to guide us, it felt like quite a challenge to make it in safely.
Earlier we had faced another seemingly impossible challenge. We were heading out for the day with Rory, our amazing instructor. We were about half way out of our pen - and for those that don't know what that means let me explain - our yacht is around 13ft wide and 60 ft long. Our pen, or marina berth is about 20ft wide and about 40ft long. We are pen number 2 in a marina with 45 pens - so to get in and out of our pen involves a considerable amount of manoeuvring - on the best day! However, this morning, a hydraulic leak in the steering system, which Peter had attended to and thought he had completely fixed, caused a complete locking up of the steering and so half way out of the pen it became clear that we had an engine and the wind to move us but no capacity to control our direction!
We grabbed ropes and pulled the yacht back into the pen once and then, thinking it fixed, headed back out only to discover half way around the entrance to the marina that we were simply being blown along and still had no steering! I should think that anyone who was watching would have wondered what on earth we were up to! It must have looked as if we couldn't decide whether to go out or not and kept changing our minds! Eventually, with a lot of, 'Go forwards for a moment,' followed by, 'Put her in reverse for a moment,' shouted out by Rory, Peter was able, with the help of a favourable wind, to get free of the marina and we were able to drift for long enough for him to fix the problem. Thank goodness for a practical, capable man!
We were given Rory's contact details by another friend at the marina. 'He's alright,' he had told us, 'He seems like a straightforward sort of a bloke and doesn't talk nonsense.'
Before we came down to Albany we had wondered about the idea of having some sailing lessons, but most people around teach sailing as if you wanted to race and we don't want to - we are about to embark on a journey and want to enjoy and savour every moment of it! But when we met Rory we felt like we had stumbled onto something wonderful!
After our first day out we can only sing his praises - he has, in one day, given us so much confidence in our abilities, and as well, taught us things and answered many of our long-held questions.
Between being awed by a pod of dolphins who decided to accompany us on and off for most of the day, we learned things about what order to put up our sails, when to lower them, how to fine tune our direction, how to use the auto-pilot properly and I could go on! All this on a yacht that didn't tip sideways even once and where no one at all got seasick!
Yes we have learned a lot today!
I was impressed with Rory almost immediately after meeting him when he said that he aimed for two things in teaching sailing - comfort and safety. He emphasised that he wasn't about to teach us racing skills, and that if we wanted to cruise that he could teach us safety, control and ways to totally enjoy that experience.
I couldn't wait to book a day's sailing with him.
The weather won't be good for sailing here again until Monday most likely - yes - I can read isobars on weather charts now! But on Monday - if the weather is right - we will head out again with Rory for a 24 hour sail. We are going out onto the continental shelf to see what it is like to sail so far off shore and we are going to practice storm management tactics - in the relative calm of King George Sound - in readiness for our next lesson which is bad weather sailing - for which we will pick a windy day to go out and hone our bad weather skills so that we are confident in using them when we will need them.
All this practice is tiring though! We come back from a day's sailing quite worn-out! Luckily I prepared lunch and dinner for today ahead of time to make the day easier - just as well - because everyone was well today they all wanted to eat - this sea air and the out-door life we are leading has turned my children and husband into ravenous monsters!
There have been moments since we arrived in Albany where I have thought that perhaps we will simply stay here and live on Argos - not venture too far - for a while at least. Moments when I have thought that maybe we have bitten off more than we can chew. I can see now that it was only fear that kept me hovering in the shallows - fear that I would get sick - fear that the children wouldn't cope - fear that we lacked the needed skills.
After today I don't have these fears - not so much as I did - I have learned that we can be out in the ocean and manage out yacht so that it doesn't plough through the water and flail around madly. I have learned that in doing so we experience far less sea-sickness. I have been encouraged that we already know a lot and are learning more all the time, and that we are well on our way to being ready to set sail around the country and across oceans. For confidence building today has certainly been excellent! Rory had pronounced Peter as being more than capable of cruising the world after his efforts getting us out with no steerage. Once safely back in our pen in the dark, with dinner on the table Rory again remarked that there was nothing that would stop us achieving our dreams!
06/21/2011, King George Sound WA
The wind has changed this morning - it's still blowing from the North-west but is increasing quite quickly to what is expected to be force 9 gale winds by nightfall. Last night it was so calm here that the water looked like a sheet of glass - and we are in no lake! It was tranquil and serene - utterly delightful.
We had invited one of the other marina dwellers over for dinner. There are three or four of us - Froggy - otherwise known as Frenchie on account of his being from France - and Peter - known also as Other Peter for obvious reasons or as Peter Chatsworth because that's the name of his boat! There are a couple of others who appear and disappear but speak little. We are a breezy community bonded together by a love of the seas.
After eating and talking about Peter's many adventures on the seas, fishing Michael and Liam went up with some rods and bait to see if they could catch anything from the marina. With little success the Peters joined them. Late into the evening they were out there, other Peter showing them how to catch squid - which were rampant and clearly visible beneath the marina lights in the clean clear water. They were all too illusive for them and we will have to try again tonight.
It's such a different life here. We notice the weather more than ever before - is it a good day to go out and practice tack-ing and getting in and out of our pen, develop our sea-legs or a day for attending to maintenance issues aboard. We were out on Thursday for close to ten hours. We were on the ocean in a four and a half meter swell and 25 knot wind. It was pretty different to the more languid wave action we were familiar with on Lake Macquarie - and everyone felt it! I am proud to say I was the first to lose my breakfast - closely contested by Erina - however we are a determined lot and we are looking forward to the next suitable day to head out again!
I was only really impacted by sea-sickness when I decided to go below and make us all a cup of tea - the sight of the waves at a 30 degrees as we were heaved over was too much for me! I liked looking at it but then when I went back up on deck with the tea my sense of equilibrium had altogether vanished and I barely held it together long enough to drink the tea!
Later I managed to get everyone hot soup for lunch - a feat I am heartily proud of! Only a packet mix mind you - but standing below decks fetching water to add to the powder and then standing with my back against the steps for stability, mixing the soup and stirring while the stove (a gimble that keeps flat despite the motion of the boat) moved back and forth! Yes - my stomach struggled! But I found that eating a slice of bread whilst stirring made it more manageable.
We have invested in some sea-sickness pressure-point bracelets and chewable tablets in readiness for our next trip out.
We are going to do lots of day sails and some over night ones until the weather pattern is favourable for us to begin our sail east. Around late July early August we plan to head off. It's such a different thing to be able to take things slow - there is no hurry here - no pressure - no time frame to fit in with - we don't even remember what day of the week it is half the time! And then, when the time is right and we are feeling ready we will head off - no hurry, no urgency, no stress!