29 October 2011 | Bundaberg Cruising Yacht Club
16 April 2011 | Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia
14 April 2011 | Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, Australia
08 December 2010 | Brisbane Airport
27 November 2010 | Eastern Creek Quarantine Facility, Sydney
19 November 2010 | Eastern Creek Quarantine Facility, Sydney
12 November 2010 | Mooloolaba River, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast
08 November 2010 | Back in Bundy
07 November 2010 | Eastern Creek Quarantine Facility, Sydney
02 November 2010 | Bundaberg Yacht Club
01 November 2010 | Bald Knob
29 October 2010 | kennelled in Vanuatu
24 October 2010 | Bundaberg, Australia
23 October 2010 | Distance to Bundaberg - 125 nm
22 October 2010 | Distance to Bundaberg - 240 nm
21 October 2010 | Distance to Bundaberg - 370 nm
20 October 2010 | Distance to Bundaberg 477 nm
19 October 2010 | Distance to Bundaberg - 600 nm
18 October 2010 | Distance to Bundaberg - 680 NM
Looking forward to the wind subsiding
22 November 2008 | Safe harbour, Bonifacio
More of the same horrendous winds
Last night felt much the same to us as the previous night with creaking ropes sounding like they were about to break, howling winds buffeting Meander's side, and sheets of cold seaspray coating the boat. None of us slept terribly well and in the morning but when we came ashore to the cyber cafe they informed us the winds were much less than the night before. Only 160 km an hour. Apparently this is quite normal for this time of year in Corsica and one guy was telling us that a few years ago when he live in the citadel on the cliff he had to crawl on his hands and knees to make his way home cos the winds were so extreme.
21 November 2008 | Safe harbour in Bonifacio
Huge front out of Golf de Lyon
At the lighthouse off the point at Bonifacio last night, it recorded winds of 220 km/hour and in our safe harbour we had 35 knot gusts buffeting the boat around and more lines connecting us to the shore than Spiderman could have managed. The wind came straight in the mouth of the harbour and then spun gusts into our little nook, whipping sheets of salt spray across the waves and coating Meander in a salt crust. Ray had taken all possible precautions securing the boat and we had returned from the road trip through Corsica expecting bad weather. We knew it would be around 45-50 knots outside but nothing like this. This morning the boat beside us was aground on the rocks so I put in a radio call to the marina. They sent a power boat out to pull it off and re-secure it to the buoy. We're expecting the same again tonight and we don't want any stray boats becoming a projectile.
Lucky strike number 2
29 October 2008 | Torre Grande and drifting!
45 knot gale force winds, howling rain
We were so pleased with ourselves for having cheated fate in Palma de Mallorca and made it to shelter behind the breakwater in time for the big blow that was predicted...gale force winds at 35 knots. As the gale set in the winds built and our wind generator scaled new heights in decibel output telling us this was definitely not a 35 knot gale. When Ray checked the wind instruments it was hitting 47 knots. The boat performed well and Ray felt the anchor was well set. So, there we were settled in for the night. I had gone to bed ill with the flu and the rest of the family and Susan were watching African Queen. Just as the movie came to its climax and the African Queen blew open the Louisa and everyone ended up in the water, Ray noticed a car parked in the cockpit. Or so it seemed! By this time it was dark and the car headlight were beaming straight in. We were drifting in the howling 45 knot winds that had spun 180 degrees and we now were surround by surf and heading for a grounding on the beach. It was all hands on deck...not a good look when I was sound asleep. Sam sprang to the front to raise the anchor but the winch wasn't performing under the stress. I assessed that it wasn't immediately fixable and required Ray's muscle power to raise th anchor manually. So I took the helm and Ray ran up front. Ray and Sam were shouting directions, Susan was containing Milo, and between us all we managed to stay off the beach. All the while our good samaritan in the car on the beach shone his headlights and made sorting the anchor so much easier. Once the anchor was back on deck...not an easy task - it's enormously heavy...Sam secured it and Ray took the helm and powered the motors up to full throttle beating into the 45 knots toward the marina. As we approached in the rain and darkness, it was the breaking waves on the sandbanks at the entrance that helped mark the channel into the marina while avoiding the rocks around the breakwater that are difficult to see at night. First we attempted a starboard tie along one of the docks but with 45 knots pushing us off we just couldn't get close. So we turned toward the opposite dock that luckily had space available. We couldn't tie to the starboard side however because we couldn't effectively turn in the wind and later found out we had picked up a rope in the port side prop hindering the prop biting into the water effectively. That meant finding fenders and moving ropes for a portside tie up with 45 knots pushing us onto the concrete-edged dock. Despite full reverse engines, Meander kissed the concrete leaving a love bite on her nose. With fenders in place and Meander securely tied to the dock, and Susan preparing the tea and muscat, the emergency was thankfully over and we were all ready for a stiff drink.
Skipper's note If it weren't for the experiences we've had over the past eighteen months Meander would have been a condominium on the beach in Sardinia last night. I'm so proud of my crew, Julie and Sam, and so disappointed in myself for being such a cheapskate and not paying to be in the marina in the first place.