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 7 to 10

02 December 2009 | At sea
Skipper JD
On Day 8 we celebrated passing the halfway mark with a Madeira cake with morning coffee and with Cousin Dean handing out presents to the kids (Thanks Chris, a lovely idea). We 'turned the corner' straight after lunch with a gybe onto Starboard and with the gennaker flying we began to head straight for St Lucia for the first time, having come well South to be sure of getting the good solid tradewinds, Many yachts have cut the corner and gained miles on us but they run the risk of not getting good tradewinds as they progress into the Atlantic.

We've mostly been flying the full mainsail with a poled-out No. 3 jib. We haven't risked using the gennaker at night although it's been tempting to do so. Yesterday the wind increased to 25 knots for most of the night and day and we posted a good 198nm for the 24 hour period. Pity we didn't break the 200nm barrier though it's been great to average more than 180nm per day so far this race.

Yesterday morning we were excited to see two other yachts, our first sighting of anyone in more than 3 days.

We lost about 10 miles this morning when our jib furling locked up as we were about to launch the gennaker. We've had to remove the furling so we cannot use it again until it's fixed in St Lucia. I then had to go up the mast to retrieve a broken mousing line for the jib halyard. That's the second time I've been to the top of the mast during this race and I can honestly say is is two times too many! We're relieved to finally be sailing again under full main and gennaker at about 8.5 - 9 knots.

With a good forecast for the next 5 days, and presuming no major gear breakages, we hope to reach St Lucia by next Monday afternoon which will make it a very quick 15 days for the ARC. The crew are all excited about arriving in the Caribbean but are also enjoying the lovely sailing conditions and the adventure of being so far from land. The night watches in particular have been surprisingly enjoyable and uneventful.

The good ship Nika has proven to be reliable and fast and our confidence in her has grown throughout the journey so far.

We've loved receiving all the emails and messages of support - they really lift the crews morale. Don't be afraid of giving us a call on the Satphone if you want the latest goss. In the meantime, we're just about to have lunch and a cold beer and get back to the enjoyment of sailing.
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