Dransfields on the high seas

09 November 2010
03 November 2010 | Somewhere off Port Stephens
26 October 2010 | Brisbane River
01 October 2010
20 September 2010 | Bundaberg QLD
07 September 2010 | Noumea, New Caledonia
26 August 2010
11 August 2010 | Musket Cove Fiji
26 July 2010 | Fiji
17 July 2010 | Tonga
15 July 2010 | Vava'u, Tonga
30 June 2010
21 June 2010 | On passage to Tonga
25 May 2010 | Tahiti,
20 May 2010 | The Tuamotu Islands
07 May 2010 | Nuka Hiva, French Polynesia
26 April 2010 | En route to the Marquesas
19 April 2010 | The Pacific Ocean
16 April 2010 | The Pacific Ocean
05 April 2010 | Galapagos

The Start and days 1 and 2

28 November 2009 | Gran Canaria
Skipper JD
After 2 weeks of fervent and desperate activity to prepare NIKA for the crossing, we awoke to a beautiful, sunny day last Sunday 22 November. Easing out from our berth, we filed past the marina entrance with 225 other ARC yachts to the start line which was located about 1nm off the breakwater - good viewing for the many spectators. The colourful atmosphere with the Gran Canarian marching band punching out many a good tune was really quite something - a similar dockside feeling of chaos to the CYC on Sydney-Hobart race day. The many goodbyes to all our new sailing ARC friends were quite emotional as we could all relate to the feeling of "jumping off into the great unknown".

We started at 1300 at the windward end which was marked by a Spanish warship and were able to quickly set the gennaker and glide through into the top 12 boats within the hour in a gentle 5-10 knot NE breeze. We were very pleased with our speed as we hadn't believed our handicap rating of 1.113 which puts Nika at 25th fastest monohull in our cruising fleet of 156 yachts. It seems unbelievable that we are supposed to beat the Oyster 56's, Discovery 55's, Swan 51's, Jeanneau 49's, Beneteau 50's. In fact, we're supposed to be as fast as the Beneteau 57's.

Nevertheless we seemed to have been holding our own in the fleet under full mainsail and poled-out No. 3 Jib as the wind built to 25 knots during the first night. We've been averaging 175nm per day for the first 2 days and we're holding a course just west of the classical Christopher Colombus 'Southerly Route".

The crew have been in good shape and excited about the start but the nerves or the café English breakie pre start or the combination meant that Jesse and Hels had quite a bad gastric/chucking episode for the first 2 days.
Tyler and Zoe to a much lesser extent felt the need for a sympathy chuck as well. Luckily all in much better form now. Zoe has been very happy reading lots of books.

Vessel Name: Nika
Vessel Make/Model: Bavaria 46 Cruiser
Hailing Port: Sydney
Crew: Skipper JD, Bosun Boy Jesse, Zodiac Zoe, Captain Tykes, First Mate Hels
About: Hail from Curl Curl on Sydney's beautiful Northern Beaches. Love of adventure, and the good life!
Extra: Saturday 6 November 2010 - we arrive back in Sydney at Middle Harbour Y.C. at 1:00 - the end of the voyage...

Nika Profile

Who: Skipper JD, Bosun Boy Jesse, Zodiac Zoe, Captain Tykes, First Mate Hels
Port: Sydney