S.V Condesa Del Mar

23 meter Herreshoff Schooner built in Wilmington Boat Yard California 1970 onwards. Fit out completed mid 1990's. Mark and Jenny Gaskell purchased Condesa November 2011 and crossed the Pacific Ocean in 2012.

17 September 2021 | Low Islet and Port Douglas
17 September 2021 | Low Islet and Port Douglas
10 September 2021 | Cairns
10 September 2021 | Cairns
03 September 2021 | Fitzroy Island
26 August 2021
19 August 2021 | Magnetic Island
13 August 2021 | Sailing north door Magnetic Island
04 August 2021 | Hayman Island
28 July 2021 | The Heart of the Reef
21 July 2021 | Whitsunday Islands
15 July 2021 | The Coral Sea Resort
11 July 2021 | The a Great Barrier Reef
07 July 2021 | The Barrier Reef
04 July 2021 | Middle Percy Island
30 June 2021 | Underway headed for Middle Percy Island
23 June 2021 | Coral Sea
18 June 2021
07 June 2021 | Gold Coast
25 July 2015 | The Yard Brisbane Ship Lifts Murarrie


30 December 2013 | Southport Gold Coast
There it was!!!! After many hours of sailing out of the Brisbane River headed for the Gold Coast for our Christmas break, finally I looked up and saw the vastness, the void, the place where you can see for miles and miles and barely make out where the horizon meets the sea. I LOVE IT. Yes, this is where the ocean is an indescribable blue. A beautiful deep blue, rich .... that on-trend colour of violet that suits everybody.
And along with that visual spectacular is the silence that reins except for the swoosh of the water rushing past the hull. The sails are set firmly in place, held by the powerful 25knot breeze blowing perfectly from the north-west as predicted. There was nothing that needed to be said. Comfort, pleasure, and concentration blend into one to set the mood on top deck. It is a mystery to me, this yearning for the motion and unmeasurable power of the water that somehow makes us feel complete.
Is it... like a hobby, is it a passion from a past life. Are you born with it and somehow directed to find it. I wonder about that mesmeric force that has drawn me in. Why I do not fear the pitch blackness of night when it is there to be feared. Why is my reaction never one peppered with terror or panic when moments of trouble come our way? To me, it always feels like there are a myriad of solutions to a problem. What the answers are I can’t tell you, but in those critical seconds it seems I am not left stranded. It is weird and I cannot explain it even to myself but calmness is there that normally shouldn’t be in these types of circumstances.
You see, no one ever wants to hear of a problem when approaching the Gold Coast seaway where there is surf on one side, a rock wall on the other and an evil undercurrent that is certain to defy the ways of the running tide in the sightless dark of night. Steering control is imperative, (as you can well imagine) as you stare into the black hole that is according to our calculations should be the entrance to the Gold Coast seaway. Diligently we all on our own silent lookout, continued to try to identify the safe path to take.
The beauty of the twinkling lights in the far distance marking the tourist strip of Surfers Paradise and beyond were instantly abolished in that decisive moment in time. He who’s hum was silenced - but I could see his mind moved into high res mode to analyse the dia circumstance. Think! – What to do before he announces what you suspect. We were literally one to two minutes from the entrance and we had the need to make the turn directly into the seaway in order to line-up the two bright blue marker lights that have only just become apparent and stand to lead the way. I support immediately, my brainwaves kicking in like an electrical current has paved the way to deliver a few valid questions. There is a saying that no question is a dumb one, but my recommendation in moments like these, is that you chose your words very wisely as I am positive there are questions that could have you bobbing hopelessly like a man overboard. Just seconds before this happened I remembered hearing the subtle dry groan of what I thought was the gear box letting us know that, Yes you got it, may need attention! The kind of ‘lift the hatch to the motor and add oil, scenario!’ OK that can happen.... but jeeze Murphy I immediately thought to myself - your timing stinks. Then he, the humless hummer at the helm asks for the autopilot button to be hit. I jump to action as it was a better option than my timewaster ideas. But I can’t read the buttons can I - (bloody failing night time eyesight) and turn for aid. Left or right red button? Got it left! The split second instruction ricochets back to me to, now return it to “standby mode” – right button ...yes ...right... firm push tick! I think to myself that he might just be onto something and less than half a minute has passed since dread hit him. Silently the rock wall, surf and narrow entrance are just there, a mere stone’s throw away. Just spying, hiding in the dark, awaiting one wrong move.
Not so. With the accurate button hitting it became apparent that he who can hum again was ‘steering-not-really’ prior to this. As the autopilot button was still ON. He who hums more in the sunlight hours thought he was the one guiding Condesa alongside of south Stradbroke Island for the past 15 minutes. After all, his hands were on the wheel. It was only when he went to action that turn did he note that the only response he was getting was from his heart hammering his chest instead of the boat turning to starboard.
However there we now were.... cautiously gliding through the notorious seaway. Right on target with those minimal blue marker lights that were vital and the blackness that was the way through to the Broadwater for us.
Although the flat seas around did not fool us like the autopilot did. The one thing we do know is that a seaway is always to be handled with the ultimate suspicion.
So back in that fleeting moment of concern, my thought was to just keep sailing in a straight line that would take us to the pretty twinkling distant lights of the Gold Coast. See that was one of those random easy solutions I had that was appealing and easy. It is one of those suggestions I spoke about before that you ever so wisely keep to yourself..... until all else has failed.
Love it, love it, love it the challenge we put ourselves through of all those “S” words...like Solving, Solutions, Surviving, Sailing, Submerging Sinking or Swimming. I think it is in all of us and we use it when we need to and surprise ourselves with what we are capable of when Murphy plays tricks on you when you least expect it.
If anyone has worked out how this happens feel free to respond so I can stop wondering. Thanks

Vessel Name: La Condesa Del Mar
Vessel Make/Model: Herreshoff Schooner 73 ft
Hailing Port: Southport Brisbane Australia
Crew: Mark & Jenny Gaskell
Boat and water lovers from the east coast of Queensland. Both Mark and Jenny enjoyed an upbringing holidaying on the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast where the smell of the ocean is ingrained at a young age. The passion grew with each vessel large and small over the years. [...]
Extra: Having conquered the east coast of Queensland Australia the biggest challenge and adventure was crossing the Pacific ocean in 2012 just months after purchasing. Leaving La Paz Mexico in March 2012 reaching for Australian waters October 2012. We love the simplicity and beauty of being live-aboards.
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/svcondesa
La Condesa Del Mar's Photos - Main
The return to our favourite spot in the Percy group. Two days was not enough but we will return 🤩
1 Photo
Created 5 July 2021
The surprise week with the kids in Musket Cove
38 Photos
Created 18 September 2012
Throughout Fiji Islands
20 Photos
Created 12 September 2012
Our Puddle Jump Celebrations on Moorea Island
20 Photos
Created 12 September 2012
Discovering Tahiti and family come to visit Condesa
20 Photos
Created 3 September 2012
This little escapade was one of my favorites maybe it was the great company we had
16 Photos
Created 30 August 2012
This is the river discovery as inthe blog Free Falling
19 Photos
Created 30 August 2012
Our stint in the remote beauty of Suwarrow
26 Photos
Created 30 August 2012
Our trek deep into the Cascades on Nuku Hiva
20 Photos
Created 18 June 2012
21 days at sea
22 Photos
Created 18 June 2012
Day 21 onwards !
3 Photos
Created 14 May 2012
Here are files of photos from purchase to preparation for the Puddle Jump
20 Photos
Created 12 April 2012
Captured as we worked
28 Photos
Created 12 April 2012
Our 6 weeks in La PAz we have has a ball and celebrated with the locals and the fleet. We have worked hard and will reep the rewards at sea.
22 Photos
Created 11 April 2012
When out and about I snapped a few styles of homes and buildings - enjoy
26 Photos
Created 4 April 2012
The word "carnaval". The general consensus is that it evolved during the middle ages, as part of the Roman Catholic ritual of lent. I hear it concludes on 'Fat Tuesday'???
20 Photos
Created 16 March 2012
The journey south from Guaymas to La Paz
20 Photos
Created 16 March 2012
From Day 1 - Day 7 The preparation to launch La Condesa Del Mar to sail the Sea of Cortez
18 Photos
Created 4 January 2012