What Lies Within
18 June 2021
A 28hrs straight sail, a dam good sleep, and felt capable of anything! I stood in front of the keyboard, flipped out my coat-tails and tried to capture moments that were.
I couldn't find anything dramatic enough to play out our last Thursday's attempt to fight the forces of nature so we renamed it- The Shakedown.
So Saturday .... Take #2 we headed off again. Sailing blissfully this time, bohemian rhapsody style. The whales looked spectacular performing ahead until the nightmare moment when she whipped her tail right in front of our bow. We braced ourselves but she resurfaced right beside us voicing her opinion loudly, leaving us in awe of her size volume and agility.
An hour later as the sun dropped. the wind increased and Condesa diligently stepped up her pace. The ballooned sails took on the hue of our navigation lights against the night sky and our ears pricked to high alert.
As things grew black gnarly Wolf Rock gnashed its teeth on the edge of our radar 18nm away but taking all my attention.
Condesa was over powered with 25knts unpredicted wind, whilst in the cockpit we were dealing with tankers and trawler lights around us. Our radio pierced the silence, a nearby trawler asked our intentions and sounded very happy with our 'port to port' decision. Good!
3am ...4am ...5am played out with very little conversation between us. As soon as the daylight allowed I eyeballed Wolf Rock's exact whereabouts, comforted by the obvious fact that we did not blindly end up on it.
Third meal in was 'sustenance driven' to get us through the treacherous wide bay bar once we had finished serenading Wolf Rock. The bar is known for everything you don't want to read about, with more undercurrent than a bathtub with a pulled plug. Actually it's worse because at least that is predictable. To add to the mix we saw breaking waves and white water to the port side and a 2-3mtr swell surging to starboard. The swell was far enough apart to have you take your mind off it until you saw your boat silently lift into the skies.
This is it!......the exact moment of absolute truth. The twist and surge down from the top of the swell propelled all 75ft of us towards the vessel that appeared to stop in the trough below. Soon we learn we too would grind to a halt with the strong undercurrent. After that wish wash of confused seas the waters calmed, a tell tale sign we were safely out of the shit.. I mean the bar!
For a nanosecond we could high-five as we calmly drifted in behind the southern end of Frazer island where sweet melodies lie with the new day.
We navigated around the red and green markers in glassy waters avoiding the Sheraton Flats Sandbanks in the well known stretch of the Sandy Straights. A lot of S words there and more could be added as half way through the two tides meet and there is nowhere for run off to go allowing the area to silt up. We tippy toed through on the best of the high tide. We suspected we may or may not have a single shell underneath us. Should things not go to plan we knew we required a miracle (and as it turned out a pirouette) to get off to continue the last hour of relentless concentration.
Finally I heard (no not humming) the smooth and muffled roll out of our anchor chain exiting the infamous new anchor winch. A voluptuous splash broke the serenity and the first and hardest leg of our journey was competed.
Take a bow! I beckon he who hums to the keyboard where the light from the porthole gave his disheveled appearance a glowing transformation and some kind of nonverbal accolades flowed between the three of us.
Performance by "La Condesa Del Mar"
Accompanied by jg
Orchestrated and Directed by He Who Hums
Kingfisher Bay anchorage