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

A miserable wet night

04 October 2021 | 18 37.463'S:173 06.679'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
5th October

18 37.463 S

173 06.679 E

Weather; rainy, wind 5- 15 knots, waves 2.5 meters

Well that was a day and night to forget in a hurry. During the daytime we had a very rolly ride due to the continuing swell hitting us beam on whilst the wind played at guess where we are coming from next! As the day wore on it became obvious that the wind was going to be coming at us from our stern and it didn't matter which side we had the sails out on it would be coming from the wrong side to be able to make good use of. We struggled to keep sailing as much as we could, Gerry fiddled and tweaked the sails in order to keep us moving along but even he couldn't keep our speed above 4 knots so we resorted to using the mechanical wind for the best part of 15 hours. Whilst we only run the engine at low revs to preserve our fuel it gives us just enough momentum to be able to maintain our steerage and direction. When the wind did pick up the engine got turned off but it was only for short periods of time and then we were back to almost wallowing along so the engine went back on. A
s night approached so did the cloud cover and along with it came the rain and lightning. For the most part of the night we were motor sailing along in the pitch black, there was no moon or stars to light the way, the rain pelted down at all angles and despite having a full cockpit enclosure we had rain coming in and soaking all but one of the seats. I think we really need to apply another coat of waterproofing to the canvas. Anyway it was unpleasant and wet everywhere making it a bit cold and added to that we had lightening which is my least favourite thing, I guess it scares me having a very large metal stick poking skywards out of the middle of the boat Ð it might as well have a sign saying "hit me" on it! The good news is that it didn't and as dawn broke the lightening vanished. Running the engine overnight was all well and good but at one point it gave a small hiccough and change in tone which both Gerry and I noticed straight away, the engine went off and Gerry set abou
t changing the fuel filter whilst I tried to keep us steady and more or less on course Ð not an easy task when the wind had dropped away to nothing and we had no forward motion. It's a good job that he is well practised at changing the filters and it was only a few minutes before we could turn the engine back on and get ourselves back on track. The filter wasn't particularly dirty and there were no obvious bits of debris so we are scratching our heads as to what caused the hiccough in the first place. Other than that the night passed without further incident, we tried to get as much sleep as we could, not the easiest as we were still rolling around like a marble in a cardboard box, I think we both have some sleep catching up to do today again. We were in sight of one of the other boats that we started out with all night and have spoken to them this morning, they have decided that the weather has now changed enough for the passage south of New Caledonia to be a viable option
and they are heading that way. Gerry checked with predict wind and sure enough the model looks favourable for a southerly passage so we have altered our course as well and are now heading to the southern part New Caledonia, of course the weather could change again and make us look like idiots but we can only take a best guess as to how it will pan out so fingers crossed. Either way the wind is going to be very light and the swell is going to be dropping away to less than a meter for the next 2-3 days, I see a whole lot of motor sailing in our future!

With the slight change of course we have had to switch the main over to the other side and also the spinnaker pole, this was done straight after we had finished breakfast, it's never my favourite thing but doing it right on top of eating was the pits. We are currently sailing along with a full main and the Yankee poled out making 6.8 knots Ð not that that will last we think we will be lucky to average 5 knots as the wind and swell drops. We aren't doing anywhere near a decent trolling speed so the fishing gear has remained firmly tucked away and out of sight, beside which we have enough food prepared to see us through to Brisbane so we really don't need to catch anything extra, it would just be a waste. In the 24 hours we managed to cover 117NM, not a great total but it is that much closer to home so we can't complain.
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