Death of our Code Zero
31 October 2017 | Somewhere else in the Coral Sea
Sailing to Australia adds an extra level of complexity to passage planning due to the insane costs of clearing quarantine so whatever you do you DO NOT want to arrive in Australia on a weekend when penalty rates apply. We appreciate and support the strong quarantine laws but this “cost recovery” concept is a rip-off. So we had to try and work out what sort of speed we should expect to maintain with the conditions that were forecast and also not to arrive near the coast of Australia due to troughs and low pressure systems passing and on top of that not to arrive on a weekend to keep a lid on costs.
The first couple of days on passage we had light winds and smooth seas but were still able to sail which is all that matters. Our light weather sail, the Code Zero again earned it's keep, maintaining reasonable boat speed. Little did we realise that the CZ was doomed. As expected, the wind died and we motored for around 30 hours but then the pre-frontal Northerlies filled in followed by the Southerly buster of around 25 to 30 knots that then turned into a north easterly towards the Australian coast. Unfortunately in about 15 knots of breeze that briefly back-winded our Code Zero, it gave one flog and blew itself to smithereens. It was made of some exotic materials which have fantastic performance but no endurance. When we reached Brisbane we cut the rope and fittings off and binned the rest. When we buy a replacement I don't think we'll go for something quite so fragile.