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

"if it's gona happen, it'll happen out there!"

29 August 2021 | 17 39.051'S:153 78.784'W, At Sea to Fiji
29th August

17 39.051 S

153 78.784 W

Weather; sunny with a few showers, wind 0-15 knots, waves up to 3 metres

Our second day at sea began in much the same way as the first one left off, there was no wind to move us a long as we entered the early evening so we continued to motor and enjoyed the fact that the sea was pretty much flat with little to throw us around. Gerry had been looking at the weather prediction and we were apparently supposed to get a bit of a blow beginning to happen in the early hours of the night, this wind was going to be coming from our port stern quarter which meant that at best we would be goose winging to make the most of it. Gerry decided to pre-empt the up and coming wind and get our spinnaker pole out on the port side and change the main over to the starboard side whilst it was still daylight and we weren't rocking and rolling about, normally the exercise of putting up the pole and changing the main to the other side happens when it's cold and dark and the boat is rolling about so this was a bit of forward thinking! We gybed the main across and secured it
with a snatch block preventer and then it was time to get the spinnaker pole into position. Gerry took up his place out on deck and I handled the lines in the cockpit as usual. Although we have done this several times there is always something different each time and it is a most frustrating few minutes until Gerry finally decides that it is all in place and returns to the cockpit. As there still wasn't any wind at this point there was no point in unfurling the jib to make sure that the pole was exactly in the right position. The sun had vanished behind a very long black cloud, we couldn't see it set but there were a couple of pockets through the cloud where we could see bright orange streaks, it looked like the place was on fire. We ate dinner and finally the wind began to put in an appearance (no it wasn't what we ate causing the wind to arrive!) it was time to put the jib into play, it will be no surprise to anyone that the pole wasn't quite in the right position and we c
ouldn't unfurl the jib all the way. Back to the drawing board, furl it away, get Gerry out on deck and me back to winching the lines until the damn pole was in a better position. When he returned to the cockpit I said we need to come up with a way of being certain that the pole is in the right position the first time so that we don't keep having to go back and adjust it, the best we could come up with was to mark the lines at the point where they need to be as they enter the block, so out came the marker pen and the lines now have marker points, I just hope that they are correct for next time around! The jib was once again deployed and at least was in the right spot, for now. The wind was still on the low side and the jib didn't hold its shape resulting in us not moving along unless we kept motor sailing, which we did. The prediction was for about 15 knots, we weren't there for quite a while to come so we began taking turns at trying to get some sleep, this didn't work out w
ell for either of us as the wind stayed on the starboard side which meant that the main was being backwinded all the time and not doing anything useful, so now that it was pitch black we had to gybe again to put the main across to where the wind was going to be effective Ð just what we wanted to avoid doing! This happened twice more with the wind unable to decide where it was going to settle and blow from, we have got this gybing and changing the preventer from one side to the other down pat in the dark, not that we like doing anything on deck in the dark but sometimes it can't be helped! Finally the wind sort of took up residence on the port stern quarter, with the occasional flip to the starboard side which we tried our best to ignore, it also started to pick up to the predicted speed which in turn made the sea a bit more lumpy with the waves coming up to 3 metres on a short interval causing us to rock a bit. Neither of us could get to sleep down below as it was too hot in
the quarter berth due to the engine temperature close by, too rolly in the salon and too bouncy in the forward cabin so we pulled out a pillow and blanket and took turns at sleeping in the cockpit. Eventually there was enough wind to enable us to turn the engine off and run with the main on the starboard side and the jib out to port, we weren't doing great speeds, mostly around 5 knots but thankfully there was no engine droning noise in the background. Of course it didn't last all night that way, we had to start up and stop the engine on a few occasions when the wind dropped and we were down to under 3 knots of movement. By dawn we were sailing along fairly well but the swell was rocking us quite badly so there was nothing to do but sit and watch the water and hope that things were going to get better. The wind has remained light, we are lucky if we are seeing 12 knots and it is still a little undecided as to which side it wants to blow from. There has been a couple of real
ly black clouds which chased us down but didn't produce any rain and not much wind effect. After we had lunch I was due to try and have a catch up sleep so I went below to the salon and had just laid down when there was an almighty bang and the sound of something rolling around on deck above my head. I called out to make sure Gerry was OK and asked what the bang was, he didn't know so I told him it was on the starboard deck and something was moving around. This was greeted with some very salty sailor speak and "the shroud has broken". I was immediately out of my bed and back up in the cockpit, where Gerry was preparing to go out on deck, apparently the starboard, forward, lower chain plate had broken away from the deck at the point of insertion and the shroud was hanging and dragging over the deck. Just in case anyone is wondering if this was the same shroud that we had just fixed, it isn't, that was on the port side. Anyway there is no easy fix to this, we need to be in a
yard and have a new chain plate installed. In the meantime Gerry has Macgyvered a solution and the shroud is now fastened forward next to the anchor which is totally the wrong direction but the best we can do for the moment, we hope it will hold until we get to Fiji. The piece that broke off is a stainless steel piece about 2 inches wide, 4 inches long and ? inch thick with a hole through it where the shroud bolts through. The edge which was at the deck has rusted almost all the way through, though this was never visible on inspection on the deck, it has obviously happened over a period of time to have gotten to the stage of breaking through. I have a photo which I can't post until we get to Fiji due to the satellite not allowing photos to be posted in the blog, so I hope you can visualise what I'm talking about. Gerry has been down in the forward toilet where the chain plate extends to, inside the boat, to see if he can remove the 18 inches or so of the other end of the ch
ain plate, it's in an awkward place, inside a cupboard, so it might take a couple of goes to get it out but I'll be sure to get a picture of that as well. So that has been our excitement for the day, we really don't need any more for the rest of this trip! Oh, I almost forgot to mention that we had the fishing rod out at the same time, knowing that Murphy was looking over our shoulder I very quickly pulled that in so that no fish were tempted to take the bait whilst we were messing about with a potential disaster Ð we won't be having fish for dinner tonight! We are currently back to motor sailing as the wind has once again dropped. Surprisingly we managed to cover 124 NM in the last 24 hours but 11 hours of that was mechanically assisted. Fingers crossed everyone for an uneventful rest of the passage!
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