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

Days 3 and 4

28 November 2009 | At Sea
Skipper JD
We're still averaging 175nm per day at an average speed of 7.5 knots under full mainsail and poled-out No. 3 Jib. The wind eased slightly and has been very steady at 15-20 knots NE.

We've got beautiful conditions for sailing and we're really starting to enjoy the night sailing with JD/Hels doing the 1900-2200 watch, Grandad Pete/Cousin Dean 2200-0100; JD/Hels 0100-0400; Grandad Pete/Cousin Dean 0400-0700. Then JD and Hels are up for when the kids wake at 0700.
Schoolwork after breakie from 0830 for about 2 hours.

Thankfully, Hels and Jesse are feeling much better and eating again. We celebrated passing the ΒΌ way mark this morning (Thursday, Day 4) with a Madeira cake at morning tea time. We're making really good progress and Dean has calculated that we'll finish in 15 days at this pace.

We're back into racing mode, more or less, and to prove it we put the "Big Bertha" rainbow gennaker up for a couple of hours this afternoon to blow out the cobwebs. Wow, that sail is truly amazing as it immediately adds 2 knots to your average speed. Anyone who dares run their gennaker through the nights will win this race I'm sure.

Grandad Pete cooked a lovely steak on the BBQ as we watched a pretty red sunset on gentle seas and the kids watched Underdog on the DVD down below.
We're feeling quite jubilant. It's taken us a while to feel comfortable being so far from land but we're more relaxed about it now (is there any choice in the matter anyway?)

Although we darted slightly west of the fleet initially, we've continued with the Christopher Colombus southerly route and gone well south to a turning point at 20deg 45N:25deg09W (about 200nm north of the Cape Verde Islands). This dogleg south is supposed to ensure us good solid tradewinds winds as we head West towards the Caribbean. We've noticed that many of the leading yachts (such as Luna Azzurra) have "cut the corner" which was a tempting thing to do although they risk running into lighter winds as they are about 150nm abeam of us to the North. At this point we'd prefer to be where we are given the wind forecasts, but it may turn out that their risk is rewarded. There's nothing we can do about it now except sail as fast as we can.

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