First Light adventures

29 July 2017 | Paynesville
28 July 2017 | Cape Conran
24 July 2017 | Eden
24 July 2017 | Eden
23 July 2017 | Off Batemans Bay
22 July 2017 | 8nm offshore from Sydney
21 July 2017 | Newcastle
17 July 2017 | Off Pt Stephens
14 July 2017 | Enroute to Australia from Noumea
13 July 2017 | Enroute to Australia from Noumea
12 July 2017 | Enroute to Australia from Noumea
10 July 2017 | Enroute to Australia
10 July 2017 | Enroute to Australia
09 July 2017 | Enroute to Australia
08 July 2017 | Enroute to Australia
06 July 2017 | Noumea
03 July 2017 | Port Moselle Noumea
27 June 2017 | Noumea
25 June 2017 | Enroute from Fiji to Noumea
24 June 2017 | Enroute from Fiji to Noumea

Arrived home

29 July 2017 | Paynesville
We arrived outside the Lakes Entrance bar at 8 30 PM , the wind was blowing offshore at 20knots, but everything looked good for the bar crossing. We inched our way towards the entrance into a slight outgoing current and confirmed that the leading lights lined up with the track I had set on the chartplotter. Everything aligned, life jackets on, flares ready, hatches closed, handheld radio on, etc. all the things ready in case we have a mishap and grounding. It seemed like no time at all that we were between the port and starboard entrance lights and we were in safely. There was no wave action or breaking waves around us....all the things you imagine about crossing this bar. There was a bit of moon, but it was obscured by cloud and it was spitting rain, but it didn't matter. We carefully navigated our way up the twisting and turning channel that was only 3 metres deep in places until we got into deeper water and could head up to Metung and then Paynesville. We docked in Paynesville at around 11PM and were greeted by friends and family. Finally home after 8 years sailing and 43578 miles since First Light III was last in Paynesville.

A big thank you to all our friends who have followed our adventure and given encouragement when most needed.

40 miles to go!

28 July 2017 | Cape Conran
We departed Eden last night at 7 30 PM and have motor sailed all night in light winds and calm seas....a real gift considering the weather yesterday. Now at 1PM we are still motoring, the wind is only a few knots from behind us, not sufficient to sail. We are approaching Cape Conran leaving 40 miles to the Lakes Entrance bar. Conditions look favorable for a bar crossing later this evening, so if all goes to plan we should be tied up at the Paynesville wharf on Sunday morning. Really looking forward to catching up with everyone.

The final hurdle!

24 July 2017 | Eden
As I write this blog the wind is whistling through the rigging at 25 knots. I have relocated for the second time today in Twofold bay to to find shelter and am currently anchored off the beach near Boydtown. Damien is on a bus returning back to Eden to join the boat for the final 135nm leg to Lakes Entrance.

Bruce our weather man has worked out that by leaving here tonight at 21 00 we should see the winds ease off a bit and swing to the North and remain there for tomorrow as we skirt the Victorian coast towards Lakes Entrance. Our ETA outside the Lakes Entrance bar is 2200 Saturday night and hopefully there will not be any dangerous swell at that point preventing us from safely entering. There will be just the slightest moon and the tide will be flooding, so once again hopefully there will be some inward flow of water which will assist in reducing swell height. This doesn't sound like the ideal or safest way to finish off our cruising, but the alternative of staying put is not a good option either as an East coast low is forming in the Eden area and historically this can bring some horrendous weather. The last East coast low at Eden demolished part of the chip loading facilities in the southern part of Twofold bay. So we are keen to leave this area and need to take tonight's narrow window of opportunity. As we approach Lakes Entrance in the dark tomorrow night the town lights will be enticing, but the focus will be squarely on crossing the bar, the last and possibly the highest hurdle we have had to negotiate.

The next blog will be tomorrow when hopefully we will be well on our way with Lakes Entrance ion our sights.

Waiting on weather

24 July 2017 | Eden
After a bitterly cold night where we hugged the coastline, the sun rose on a crystal clear morning. We were approaching the last headland before turning into Twofold bay and the port of Eden. At nine we were secured to the wharf and soon after checking in with the harbourmaster, a much simpler process to checking into a country. Coffee, scones and cream followed at a nearby cafe, yum. Tonight we have already decided it will be local seafood and a drink to celebrate another passage.

Looking ahead for the final passage to Lakes Entrance there is a cold front coming through almost every day until next Saturday, so it looks like a few days in Eden before setting sail again. Damien is taking the opportunity to catch a bus home to see his wife and family. They won't recognise him with his free range whiskers!

A blowy night.

23 July 2017 | Off Batemans Bay
Last night after passing the bright lights of Sydney we continued sailing south and once past Woolongong the lights ashore started to thin out. It was a dark cold night, no moon. Our weather man had warned us to expect some strong wind between Kiama and Jervis bay, up to 25 knots. As predicted the winds increased as we neared the area, but they quickly passed the 25 knot mark and continued to increase up to 35 knots. You guessed it, my midnight to 3 watch again! We dropped all sail and just motored along slowly for about three hours until the wind speed was in the mid 20's and we could set the staysail. The Spirit of Tasmania passed us on its way to Sydney, so I took the opportunity of asking them about the winds to the south, they confirmed winds in the high 20's. I also wondered about telling them they were a bit off course, Tasmania was behind them!

So after experiencing higher than predicted wind speeds, I started to doubt the weather forecast and also the wisdom of continuing past Jervis bay one of the few safe havens on this coast. I decided to go into Jervis bay and pick up a mooring. It was just on dawn as we hooked onto a mooring and I sent off an email to Bruce our weather man. A few hours later he came back with this explanation for the strong winds....It looks like you have hit the touch down zone of a rotor - caused by the topography of that region. Well that explains it all! He said it is still good to continue on, so here we are, passing Batemans Bay and well on the way to Eden ETA Monday morning.

Rockin and rollin off Sydney

22 July 2017 | 8nm offshore from Sydney
A 0500 start saw us exiting the breakwaters of Newcastle at 0615 as the first signs of light appeared to the east. It was bitterly cold and even before exiting we could feel the swell rolling in and could see spray being thrown up into the air as the southerly swell crashed into the breakwater.

Once outside we were in a world of heaving swells 3 to 4 metres in height but fortunately they were of a long period and not breaking. Throughout today we have sailed and motor sailed down the coast and we are currently off Sydney, the skyline is clearly visible from 8nm offshore. We will continue south towards Jervis Bay where we may stop tomorrow morning to let another front pass. Our weather man thinks there is a possibility of continuing on to Eden without stopping, so we'll see.
Vessel Name: First Light III
Vessel Make/Model: Adams 12
Hailing Port: Melbourne Australia
Crew: Bernie
About: Bernie is passionate about sailing and finally living his dream to cruise long term. Dianne is First Mate and looking forward to many adventures along the way.
First Light III was fitted out and equipped by Bernie and launched in 2004. She is a fractional rigged cutter with a good turn of speed. Specification: Length 12 m. Beam 4m. Draught 2.2m Displacement 7500Kg Engine Yanmar 39HP Saildrive HF radio with email capability High capacity ECH2O [...]
First Light III's Photos - Main
Photos from NC and Vanuatu
1 Photo
Created 15 June 2009
No Photos
Created 14 May 2009

First Light 111 Adventures

Who: Bernie
Port: Melbourne Australia