22 October 2021 | 'S: 'E, Grand Chancellor Hotel, Brisbane
15 October 2021 | 27 26.662'S:153 06.434'E, River gate marina, Brisbane
12 October 2021 | 26 18.073'S:156 00.246'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
11 October 2021 | 25 41.635'S:158 24.609'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
10 October 2021 | 25 03.764'S:160 40.921'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
09 October 2021 | 24 16.537'S:163 21.449'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
08 October 2021 | 23 23.005'S:166 09.112'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
07 October 2021 | 22 12.270'S:168 20.490'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
06 October 2021 | 21 00.046'S:169 58.439'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
05 October 2021 | 19 49.684'S:171 35.302'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
04 October 2021 | 18 37.463'S:173 06.679'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
03 October 2021 | 18 11.767'S:175 05.347'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
02 October 2021 | 17 46.369'S:177 22.935'E, Port Denarau marina , Fiji
18 September 2021 | 17 46.369'S:177 22.935'E, Port Denarau marina , Fiji
16 September 2021 | 17 46.369'S:177 22.935'E, Denarau, Fiji
15 September 2021 | 17 46.369'S:177 22.935'E, Denarau, Fiji
14 September 2021 | 17 44.915'S:177 22.373'E, Denarau, Fiji
13 September 2021 | 17 44.915'S:177 22.373'E, Quarantine anchorage, Denarau, Fiji
11 September 2021 | 17 14.384'S:178 18.007'E, At Sea to Fiji
10 September 2021 | 17 32.600'S:179 35.350'W, At Sea to Fiji

Australia Day

28 January 2021 | 12 10.265'N:62 56.810'W, At sea to Curacao
NC
26th January

12. 10. 265 N
62 56. 810 W

Weather; sunny, wind 20 -25 knots with gusts up to 30 knots, waves 6-8 feet

HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY
GOODBYE DALE AND LORIE, SAFE TRIP, YOU WILL BE MISSED MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE

So having said my goodbyes to Dale and Lorie last night we headed back to our boat and rang our daughter to let her know that we were going to be out of contact for a few days from the morning as we set sail for Cura¬ćcan
I don't think either of us slept particularly well - it's that anticipation and slight worry stuff going around in our heads! We were both up and showered and dressed fairy early, Gerry went across to Gypsy Palace to say good bye to Dale and Lorie, I would have been too snively to go with him so waved them off from the safety of our cockpit as they hauled anchor and set off for St Thomas at a little after 9 am.
Gerry had done all the route planning for us, so if we end up in some weird unknown place it's all his fault! Chris and Helen came over to wish us a safe trip and say goodbye - we hope to see you in Australia sometime in the future guys.
It was time for the last minute stuff, taking down the last of the awnings and stowing them away, turning the dorades away from the prevailing seas, checking the batteries are charged on the headsets, winchrite and power torch, getting the jackline in position, making sure we have lifejackets and harnesses in the cockpit ready to use as well as a few things I can't remember. Being superstitious I made sure that we finished up the bananas and got rid of the skins from the boat along with our last minute trash dash. Gerry headed off to Le Boucher in the hope of a fresh rotisserie chicken, baguette, some cheese and cold meats for the trip - big disappointment as the rotisserie had suffered a malfunction and there were no chooks to be had but at least we have the rest to enjoy. Once back on board we hauled the dinghy on to the davits , tightened down the straps and put the outboard to bed with the cover over it on its stand, got the helm wheel down and put it in place and got our comfortable arm chairs out in place in the cockpit. The hour had finally arrived, Gerry had been across to our closest neighbor to let him know we would be leaving, we weren't sure how close we would get to him as we hauled in our anchor as the wind was getting up and we were being blown all over the place - close enough to him to be a worry! Anyway Gerry took up his position on the bow and I took charge of the helm, between us we hauled up the anchor and got clear of the neighbor without issue - this was it, we were off and clear of the bay entrance by 11.30hrs.
Gerry had been looking at the weather reports for a couple of days and we were expecting to get wind at around 15 to 20 knots out of East North East which would have put it on the starboard stern quarter, it was then supposed to go around to our stern, giving us following winds. With this forecast in mind Gerry had a plan to put the spinnaker pole out on the starboard side in order for us to be able to fly the jib that side whilst at the same time flying the main pushed out to the port side - almost like goose winging but it's not known as that with the main and the jib and I have no idea what the correct term is! He also wanted to put a preventer on the boom to make sure that the main didn't fly across to try and join the jib - it's the first time we had tried to sail like this on this boat, as you all know we only usually sail directly with the wind on our nose! Anyhow we motored around to the big main bay at St Georges before we started messing about and putting the plan into action. It was a bit difficult getting the pole out and the preventer in place but we eventually got there and turned the boat back onto the set track - we were off and running. At this point we had put the main up with 2 reefing points in place and only had part of the jib out on the same side as the main as the wind, true to the forecast was coming at us from the starboard stern quarter. We were bowling along quite well at 7 knots. The other part of the forecast was the waves/swell which was predicted at 1.8 meters and a short interval - for the first time ever they got it right! The swell was horrid and we were being attacked and bounced around all over the place, it's just as well that we were expecting it to be a rolly ride or we might have turned back ! The ride continued in much the same vein for the best part of the next 6 hours, uncomfortable and difficult to move around in. Eventually the wind began to clock further around to the stern and increased in speed to over 20 knots and Gerry decided to put the jib across to the starboard side to try out the wing and wing point of sail, well it worked we began to reach speeds of 8-8.5 knots with a second reef in the main and half a jib out flying, I hate to say it but it was a bit too fast given the small amount of sail we had out, there was a chance of it getting out of control, but not just yet.
We had one of our pre prepared dinners as we watched the sun set over the water for the first time in a while, I was hoping for the green flash to finish off our Australia day but it didn't happen because the clouds blanketed the sun at the horizon so I didn't even get a good sun set photo!
Shortly after this Gerry was down for his "off watch" period and I had to call him up to come and wind the jib in further, the wind was howling upwards to 30 knots and we were whipping along at over 8 knots all the time, we don't want blow out our sails before we get home! The main was eased out to allow more spill and the jib was furled away which had the effect of slowing us down to 7 knots! Gerry went back to bed and we took turns through the night at watch keeping without very much else happening. Neither of us got much sleep as the waves and swell were coming from all over the place and bouncing the boat around, one moment you were looking at a wall of water and the next you would be on top of the wall looking down into the trough and waiting to hit the bottom. If the swell had been coming from just one direction it would have been OK but it was coming from all over the place with no rhyme or reason to where it would come from next. All night the wind at least stayed constant and we did between 7 and 8 knots for most of the night, travelling a bit over 12 miles off the Venezuelan coastline ( just outside of their waters to be safe rather than sorry - we'd heard too many stories and didn't need one of our own to tell) overnight we saw not a single boat or ship, it was very quiet. At one point I was down trying to sleep and I thought I heard Gerry say "are you Ok there?" which he always said to Priss whilst she was with us, I put it down to me being half asleep and dreaming but when I came out into the cockpit there was a bird perched on the life ring right next to Gerry's head - we had a hitch hiker!. This bird remained on the life ring all night, it didn't flinch when we moved around, let me get close enough to get a photo, wasn't scared off by the camera flash or anything else. It gave a whole new meaning to Air B+B! it made good use of the toilet facilities, crapping all over the cockpit seat and life ring and finally took off when the sun rose in the morning. We have no idea what sort of bird it was, possibly a tern of some sort but if anyone out there knows please tell us!
So our first night on the current trip has gone and we are still alive and well. I'll be back tomorrow with more.
Comments
Vessel Name: Opal of Queensland
Vessel Make/Model: Tayana 52AC
Hailing Port: Bundaberg
Crew: Nicky, Gerry and Priss
About: Motley mostly, especially the cat
Opal of Queensland's Photos - Main
30 Photos
Created 22 October 2021
10 Photos
Created 16 September 2021
25 Photos
Created 14 September 2021
57 Photos
Created 7 August 2021
44 Photos
Created 17 July 2021
69 Photos
Created 11 July 2021
41 Photos
Created 10 July 2021
33 Photos
Created 13 May 2021
49 Photos
Created 3 May 2021
59 Photos
Created 9 April 2021
34 Photos
Created 5 April 2021
9 Photos
Created 5 April 2021
68 Photos
Created 4 April 2021
21 Photos
Created 12 March 2021
26 Photos
Created 27 February 2021
plenty of broken bits and things to fix in Colombia
44 Photos
Created 25 February 2021
25 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
27 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
29 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
36 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
20 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
13 Photos
Created 5 December 2020
Wind indicator replacement
12 Photos
Created 24 November 2020
15 Photos
Created 3 November 2020
leaving Port Louis marina, travelling to Spice Island Marine yard and hauling out to do the anti fouling
60 Photos
Created 3 November 2020
10 Photos
Created 29 July 2020
20 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 5 July 2020
28 Photos
Created 26 June 2020
62 Photos
Created 20 June 2020
10 Photos
Created 4 June 2020
155 Photos
Created 4 December 2019
104 Photos
Created 4 December 2019
55 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 1 November 2019
The life and antics of Miss Priss aboard Opal
27 Photos
Created 1 November 2019

Who: Nicky, Gerry and Priss
Port: Bundaberg