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


02 February 2010 | En-route to Cartegena, Colombia
Skipper JD
We had a red-letter day today. A special day. We departed Aruba at 0800 yesterday morning (Sunday) en-route to Cartegena, Colombia, a passage of some 400nm. We started with great 20-25 knot SE winds with a steep swell. With poled-out No. 3 with a couple of furls in it plus a reefed mainsail, we averaged 10 knots SOG for the first 10 hours. We saw a lot of 10's, 11's and 12 knots but the highlight was hitting 18.2 knots SOG down one particularly steep wave - our fastest speed so far in the 5 months we've owned Nika! Funny, but we didn't feel like we were pushing Nika at all.

We then reefed a bit more for the night and slowed right down as the wind also eased to 15-20 knots and it is now only 10-15 knots. We ended up doing 205nm for the 24 hours so Nika has broken the 200nm barrier for the first time!

The big news was that we saw an Orca!!! We were all perched together on the windward cockpit seat listening to Helen reading the finishing pages of "Round the World in Eighty Days", where Phileas Fogg realises his error with the International Date Line, when the massive Orca porpoised out of the water just 1.5m to leeward and gave us an enormous shock to say the least. It was about 8m long (adult size, 2/3 the length of Nika) with the distinctive black top and white belly. We picked that it was a female from its curved dorsal fin. Tried to get a photo for all you non-believers but we only got to see it once more about 5m off our windward side before it headed off. What an awesome beast!

To cap off a glorious afternoon, we had 20 dolphins put on a show for us with 10 of them abreast together at the same time under our bow.

We've just had an easy night and we expect to have to slow down to arrive at Cartegena tomorrow morning in daylight. We're relieved about this because this stretch of water is notoriously lumpy and windy. The Blue Water Rally yachts got hammered in this area last week with 40 - 50 knot winds for 24 hours with several yachts having to trail warps.
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