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.

24 September 2021 | Crystalbrooke Marina Port Douglas
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

The Impossible Dream

24 September 2021 | Crystalbrooke Marina Port Douglas
Jenny Gaskell | Bit of this bit of that, sunshine and the odd shower

Wooo hooo! There is a weather window good enough for departure for Lizard Island this weekend.
Whilst in Port Douglas, we have driven to higher ground and seen the very turbulent offshore waters and the peace and quiet of the Daintree lookout made it all the more boisterous.
He Who Hums is in the bowels of Condesa, checking the engine mounts with a marine mechanic who is supple enough to crawl around the area.
It’s funny, you phone the engineer workshop and the big burley owner says he’ll send someone who is working nearby in the marina. We located the said worker and once he heard the words “engine mounts to be checked”, he then sent the smaller skill-set over to view the job (location is in the bilge of Condesa, where no man roams - just sayin😬).
At 9am I set off to the commence provisioning, noticing the person who viewed it yesterday had sent an even smaller tradesperson today. 🤣
Yes, you do need to be like a carpet snake to get around Condesa’s engine. This roll call of mechanics reminded me of the spanners lined up on the workshop wall. It appears you keep downsizing until you get the right fit for the job.
So, I left the boys to it but didn’t get too far on my mission. I am caught up in The Port Douglas Book Shop, with a very chatty and extremely knowledgeable owner and his furry companion Brandy. The cream coloured Labrador who guards the door, only letting dog-loving-people step over him.
The shop owner loved an early customer, I guess it set the tone for his day amongst preloved books. Within the first 15mins he learns I’m from the marina, makes me a cup of tea, sets it in the maritime book nook where all dog-loving-people sit and insisted I stay as long as I want.
I view the low-set old ruby lounge reminiscent of the one my great grandmother owned and it smells of vintage comfort, so I sink into the too-warm-for-this-weather velvet seat. I respond to the ongoing questions shot from the next isle and ignore Brandy’s polite stare at the biscuit as it goes to my mouth and back to the saucer. All this is happening whilst pretending to read as I notice passersby view us, (the dog lover and dag) through the bookshop window. I have found the perfect book of maps from where I sit.
So now, let’s look at the next leg - 100 NM north (200klm) a 2-3 day hop, even beyond Cooktown.
In conversation someone said to He Who Hums ‘Oh! if your going that far you should also visit Princess Charlotte Bay!’ And, whilst that bay sounds perfectly divine, I can see it is far, far, far north Qld. Before we know it we will be in New Guinea if we’re not careful.
People, we have to turn this ship around before the cyclone season begins!
So back to the plan, if we take a few days to reach the allusive Lizard Island and spend a week “researching” the reefs whilst waiting for weather, eventually the northerly winds should start to blow. Which by then the calendar should read mid October. In that case Condesa a will need to be facing south to begin her return journey. a) pre cyclone season and b) to keep the insurance company happy. Fine! That’s all good timing for family and Christmas prep also.
Speaking of home, I need to get out of this time travelling velvet couch, find the actual book I came in for and hot foot it back via the markets to check on the boat jobs. Actually, I also want to see how small the worker became to achieved the impossible.🙊

Crystal Clear

17 September 2021 | Low Islet and Port Douglas
Jenny Gaskell | Perfect Conditions for Reef exploring
The picture postcard surrounds of Port Douglas enveloped Condesa as she glides past the yacht club deck. It is such close range you can hear the low collective mumbling of the cheerful patrons. This view must trick them into losing their sense of time, as it does us out in the water. The afternoon light sinking behind the mountain ranges, familiar tall palms and deathly quiet waters combined bring back memories of the last time Condesa checked into Crystalbrook Marina. My memory bank says last year, but the true date was September 2015. The familiarity so welcoming, warm and wonderfully tropical. Somehow there is a need to inhale to refresh the already crystal clear image. No wonder I didn't want to leave here last visit, however I can rest assure the heat will be the only thing to drive us out as summer's heat will do that.
He Who Hums loudly busied himself to work on Condesa's hull in Cairns, knowing those impressively gnarly croc skins we handled in Kuranda markets came from these eerie creeks. There was no way he was going to be scrubbing the hull, even from the dingy.
I swear the tourist footage playing of a large croc leaping 10ft out of the water has left him slightly gun shy. Ummm two words "Australia Zoo" hellooooo. 🙌🏻
Crocs are alway in the back of your minds up here, even when walking the marina, which takes me back to the day I warned two Asian back packers, sitting dangling there feet in the cool waters. Them not understanding a word I said about sightings of crocodiles the Marina.
Me: snapping croc charades.
Asian back packers: Horror stricken... lifting their feet.
I never meant to be overly dramatic, but they understood where I was coming from.
Sadly there are no backpackers in town these days but everything else is still here.
We have our sights set on sailing to the elusive Lizard Island, which might happen if our stars align. If not there are many other reefs waiting to be explored nearby.
Meanwhile we seem to meet like minded people who share the love of something so beautiful as the lines of an old boat. But if ever there was a time for long stories to not be cut short, it is when He Who Hums and others speak of any classical boat and their history. With the right person, boat names roll off the tongue such as Bolero, Premier, Links , Hallison, (I could go on 😑), triggering all they know, the whereabouts and credentials. He Who Hums has always been a walking encyclopaedia when it comes to tracking certain boats. It has become a way of life and each time he takes me there I fall more in love with the sea and the vessels who roam across the world.
Anyway, I must go! We are about to jump into a car and we know the driver, he is cut from the same cloth as He Who Hums. Let's call it another fanciful history lesson in classical boats for me listening to these two whist in transit.
Stay safe and we will too!


Crystal Clear

17 September 2021 | Low Islet and Port Douglas
Jenny Gaskell | Perfect Conditions for Reef exploring

The picture postcard surrounds of Port Douglas enveloped Condesa as she glides past the yacht club deck. It is such close range we could hear the low collective mumbling of the cheerful patrons. This view must trick them into losing their sense of time, as it does us out in the water. The afternoon light sinking behind the mountain ranges, familiar tall palms and deathly quiet waters combined bring back memories of the last time Condesa checked into Crystalbrook Marina. My memory bank last year, but the true date was September 2015. The familiarity so welcoming, warm and wonderfully tropical. Somehow there is a need to inhale to refresh the already crystal clear image. No wonder I didn’t want to leave here last visit, however I can rest assure the heat will be the only thing to drive us out as summer’s heat will do that.
He Who Hums loudly busied himself to work on Condesa’s hull in Cairns, knowing those impressively gnarly croc skins we handled in Kuranda markets came from these eerie creeks. There was no way he was going to be scrubbing the hull, even from the dingy.
I swear the tourist footage playing of a large croc leaping 10ft out of the water has left him slightly gun shy. Ummm two words “Australia Zoo” hellooooo. 🙌🏻
Crocs are alway in the back of your minds up here, even when walking the marina, which takes me back to the day I warned two Asian back packers, sitting dangling there feet in the cool waters. Them not understanding a word I said about sightings of crocodiles the Marina.
Me: snapping croc charades.
Asian back packers: Horror stricken... lifting their feet.
I never meant to be overly dramatic, but they understood where I was coming from.
Sadly there are no backpackers in town these days but everything else is still here.
We have our sights set on sailing to the elusive Lizard Island, which might happen if our stars align. If not there are many other reefs waiting to be explored nearby.
Meanwhile we seem meet minded people who share the love of something so beautiful as the lines of an old boat. But if ever there was a time for long stories to not be cut short, it is when He Who Hums and others speak of any classical boat and their history. With the right person, boat names roll off the tongue such as Bolero, Premier, Links , Hallison, (I could go on 😑), triggering all they know, the whereabouts and credentials. He Who Hums has always been a walking encyclopaedia when it comes to tracking certain boats. It has become a way of life and each time he takes me there I fall more in love with the sea and the vessels who roam across the world.
Anyway, I must go! We are about to jump into a car and we know the driver, he is cut from the same cloth as He Who Hums. Let’s call it another fanciful history lesson in classical boats for me, listening to these two whist in transit.
Stay safe and we will too!


The Sailor’s Gripe

10 September 2021 | Cairns
Jenny Gaskell | Woefull winds & intermittent rain

‘Fair winds!’ said no one ever, in FNQ. Well, for a long time anyway!

All vessels are hiding from the big blow, forecast in this region for another week.
We have seen 45+ knots INSIDE the protection of Cairns Marina on several occasions and the gusts just keep coming! We feel for anyone still outside in this blow. There are many boats hiding up Chinamen Creek, also riding out the wrath.
He Who Hums has Condesa secured with many lines and she is sitting safely in Marlin Marina. We are totally fine and venturing up into the hinterland whilst waiting for whoever it is up there to calm-the-farm, so to speak.
I see there are numerous Wind Gods, one for every direction. Well, let me tell you all of them are having their say at the mo, a bit like question time in parliament 😂.
There is an old sailor’s omen, stating if you whistle on top deck it challenges the wind gods and storms can follow. Personally, I recon you’d get nothing but a belly full even if you tried in these conditions.
Listening to the howling wind from below deck, sounds more like a jet engine taking off than a costal blow.
The nautical tale stems from the Mutiny on the Bounty. Good ol’ Fletcher Christian whistled to commence the mutiny with Captain Bligh, back in the day.
I am sitting here listening to the hummer, counting my blessings he is not a whistler like his grandfather who filled the Gaskell Pie Shop (in Bulimba) with his tunes. It possibly kept the self raising flour out of his lungs, who knows?
Surely there’s got to be a sailor in my family tree, if I trace back far enough. It would explain my yearning to be out on the water, instead of having Condesa strung up to the dock.
So then, Aeolus was the Greek god with a couple of KPI’s. He is, they say the divine keeper of winds and king of the mythical island -Aiolia. He’s the man to keep violent Storm/Winds locked safely inside the caves of his isle. The weather then only wreaking havoc on the world at the command of the greatest gods!
In watching the wind indicator spike constantly, I sense they too have had a gut full and ready to unleash.
God knows the world needs to blow away a few cobwebs, but I’m going to go straight for the head honchos and pray for the greater god’s to do some navel gazing and seek some happiness, so we can all get back to calmer seas and smooth sailing.

The Sailor’s Gripe

10 September 2021 | Cairns
Jenny Gaskell | Woefull winds & intermittent rain

‘Fair winds!’ said no one ever, in FNQ. Well, for a long time anyway!

All vessels are hiding from the big blow, forecast in this region for another week.
We have seen 45+ knots INSIDE the protection of Cairns Marina on several occasions and the gusts just keep coming! We feel for anyone still outside in this blow. There are many boats hiding up Chinamen Creek, also riding out the wrath.
He Who Hums has Condesa secured with many lines and she is sitting safely in Marlin Marina. We are totally fine and venturing up into the hinterland whilst waiting for whoever it is up there to calm-the-farm, so to speak.
I see there are numerous Wind Gods, one for every direction. Well, let me tell you all of them are having their say at the mo, a bit like question time in parliament 😂.
There is an old sailor’s omen, stating if you whistle on top deck it challenges the wind gods and storms can follow. Personally, I recon you’d get nothing but a belly full even if you tried in these conditions.
Listening to the howling wind from below deck, sounds more like a jet engine taking off than a costal blow.
The nautical tale stems from the Mutiny on the Bounty. Good ol’ Fletcher Christian whistled to commence the mutiny with Captain Bligh, back in the day.
I am sitting here listening to the hummer, counting my blessings he is not a whistler like his grandfather who filled the Gaskell Pie Shop (in Bulimba) with his tunes. It possibly kept the self raising flour out of his lungs, who knows?
Surely there’s got to be a sailor in my family tree, if I trace back far enough. It would explain my yearning to be out on the water, instead of having Condesa strung up to the dock.
So then, Aeolus was the Greek god with a couple of KPI’s. He is, they say the divine keeper of winds and king of the mythical island -Aiolia. He’s the man to keep violent Storm/Winds locked safely inside the caves of his isle. The weather then only wreaking havoc on the world at the command of the greatest gods!
In watching the wind indicator spike constantly, I sense they too have had a gut full and ready to unleash.
God knows the world needs to blow away a few cobwebs, but I’m going to go straight for the head honchos and pray for the greater god’s to do some navel gazing and seek some happiness, so we can all get back to calmer seas and smooth sailing.

Head in the Clouds

03 September 2021 | Fitzroy Island
Jenny Gaskell | Generally perfect a few days of spiked 25+knots
Remember the ol' saying - You can't see for looking?

Well, I watched this lush mountain swaddled in cloud, morph into the likes of a monochromic spacecraft every day from where we were anchored at Fitzroy Island. I'm not sure if it's Mount Surprise (which would be apt), He Who Hums says it's Cape Grafton. I'd like to think it's Mt Bartle Frere in all its glory, 1611mtrs above sea level, knowing full well it was not high enough.
Fitzroy stands a mere 375mtrs above sea level, and I had the list in my mind of must do's ... the lighthouse/ summit/ rainforest and Nudy beach walks...not Nudie people 👀 "NUDY!". Then there's reef snorkelling and the dining options ... well just two options🤣. Island time for me = cook's nights off!
We were better prepared for the hike since our leaping the gigantic boulders, and rope climbing verticals of Zoe Falls, 430mtrs high. The quads are stronger and I was mentally prepared, as the last time I climbed the 375mtrs above sea level was with you Toni Holt in the pelting rain not so long ago. So we had a sunny day, which was a good start.
Eventually, we perched at the summit with other seafarers, sharing stories and each identifying the specs below, the one the furthest out and facing a different way with the current, was Condesa.
Rightly or wrongly, we chose the route down with more steps than paths, so the ankles and calves certainly felt it the day after.
I was saying how incredible the human brain is, to adjust your footing for each and every uneven step taken. You just have to spot your next move and providing the rock doesn't move..... Bobs your uncle! If not, bruises are there to be had.😝
However, underwater was a different story! I was in heaven, clam spotting along the coral reef. Searching for the vibrant violet and jade frills before they ducked for cover as I swam over. Then, boom! The sunlight caught what my brain hadn't registered. On the right angle, the reef was ablaze with marine life. And I'm talking parrot fish and the stripy variety here. The sort you can't miss, right?
Pedro always said, you need to gaze, not look, if you want to spot marine life. Hmmm, not a bad analogy for life right now. 🤔
He Who Hums and I might be offshore, but we think of our family and friends across this crazy world often. Wherever you may be, we hope you are gazing beyond today.

🥰Sending our love and care across the water.
Vessel Name: La Condesa Del Mar
Vessel Make/Model: Herreshoff Schooner 73 ft
Hailing Port: Southport Brisbane Australia
Crew: Mark & Jenny Gaskell
About:
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
Social:
La Condesa Del Mar's Photos - Boat Preparation and interior
Photos 1 to 28 of 28 | Main
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hunting adn gathering
Poised ready
Some friends go to no end of trouble! Thank you Mr Bill
The swim ladder
The canvas work
Pleanty of shade for the Pacific
The quiet moments
The magnificent timber work by Pedro Cookingham
Danny the Canvas man you had better got off
Two people helping to get her sailing
the Captain
Sergio the Steelman
New Davitts
Action every day for 6 weeks
Sitting pretty
The beginnings of our shade for the Pacific
All in a day
Electrician briefing
Bimini installation
The Australian Flag
La Condesa Del Mar s the bird flew
on C Dock Marina De La Paz
Up she goes
100 ft 3/8 Chain
Edwardo the apprentice to teh Water Guy
New Freezer panel for teh tucker box
 
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