Sailing the Pacific

09 November 2010
07 November 2010
05 November 2010
26 October 2010
19 October 2010 | Somewhere between Fiji and Vanuatu
14 October 2010
14 October 2010
14 October 2010
14 October 2010
14 October 2010
03 October 2010
15 September 2010 | Vava'u, Tonga
02 September 2010 | Vava'u, Tonga
08 August 2010
29 July 2010
25 July 2010 | Bora Bora
20 July 2010
16 July 2010 | Moorea
16 July 2010 | Moorea, Society Islands

The Last Leg

05 November 2010
James
Well, we've come to the last leg of our long voyage. 8000 miles. And now just the last 800 miles from Noumea to Brisbane. We can't believe that we have nearly reached our destination. It is quite an overwhelming feeling really, mainly joy and excitement but a little regret that it is coming to an end.

We're sailing in company with our friends on Syzygy. There were many boats waiting in Noumea for a good weather window to sail to Australia, but most had more time, or a different view of the weather synopsis, and wanted to wait. Everyone seemed concerned about a trough lurking halfway between Australia and New caledonia. Not so, Syzygy and us. We agreed that the weather outlook was acceptable so we did some last minute stocking up of fine French wine and cheeses, and we're on our way. We've found it much better, and less worrying to make our own decisions on the weather rather than to listen to everyone's opinion. We just gather as much information as we can, and take our own responsibility.

The wind was quite a bit lighter than expected yesterday but from the expected northerly direction. We were expected a wind change to the SE but it snuck up on us out of the darkness. The night was pitch black, with no moon and heavy cloud cover. Actually very pleasant sailing in a nice breeze. But then, a blacker patch of black started raining on us. Then heavier, and before we knew it the wind had turned to come from straight ahead of us, and the rain torrential. So followed a night of sail furling and unfurling. Wind, no wind. Confused left-over seas and lots of motoring.

We lost Syzygy in the darkness but as dawn broke we were able to make out their sails about a mile distant. It's quite nice to have company out here for a change.

The sky is starting to clear now, at noon on the second day. It's hard to concentrate on reading because there's these magnificent birds flying around. ( I wish I knew what they were called. Next time we must take a Bird book with us). Dark brown and moderate size, they are masters of their domain. Flying with wing tips down, they skim the surface of the waves, seeming to ride the wind pressure wave on the wave faces. They can fly for long distances into the wind without a flap in their wings. Endlessly glide along the faces and then scoop up and over one and swoop back down for another hair's breadth ride over the surface. Sometimes they'll bank a sharp turn with one wing tip tracing the water, just like a speed skater will run his fingertips on the ice to measure his turn. I can spend hours, watching them in awe and fascination.
Comments
Vessel Name: Dagmar
Vessel Make/Model: CAL 39
Hailing Port: Melbourne, Australia
Crew: James Thomson and Isabelle Chigros-Fraser
About:
Hello and welcome to our new sailing blog! Our dream is to sail across the Pacific Ocean this year starting in Costa Rica and finishing in Australia. [...]
Extra:
As we have been told by fellow sailors, when you live at the mercy of the elements plans are like "Jello and Sand"- wobbly and unsteady like Jello (jelly for us aussies) and when you write something in the sand often it will be washed away with the tide. It is for this reason that we didn't finish [...]
Dagmar's Photos - Main
13 Photos
Created 19 August 2010
13 Photos
Created 19 August 2010
44 Photos
Created 19 August 2010
12 Photos
Created 18 August 2010
30 Photos
Created 25 May 2010
A few images from the 'Milk Run'
12 Photos
Created 23 April 2010
This beautiful Booby, we think a variety of the Red-footed Booby family, came and joined us for the middle week of our crossing from the Galapagos to the Marquesas. Maybe he was tired or unwell at first. he didn't make a foray from the boat until the second day, and that was a short one. He gradually made longer and longer outings until one day, he left at dawn and never returned. He used to like playing with bits of cord that we'd offer him. He'd take it in his beak and squark and turn around and around. We couldn't figure out what fascinated him so much. Whether it was just play, or it was instinct to build a nest? He was a magnificent creature to observe so closely ( he let us get very close to him) and also while flying. They are graceful and precision flyers, sweeping so close to the water in tight banking turns, wingtips kissing the water. He endlessly preened his feathers while gripping on to our rail, running along each and every one with his beak, keeping them clean and straight. We offered him flying fish but he invariably tossed them away. It was rather sad when he was gone - just his piece of cord left, tied to the rail where he used to play..
21 Photos
Created 20 April 2010
48 Photos
Created 12 March 2010
46 Photos
Created 7 March 2010
Some of the prep in Australia and the Flight over here
13 Photos
Created 10 February 2010
'Twenty years from now you will be more dissapointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.' -Mark Twain
' I felt my pulse beating with suppressed excitement as I threw the mooring bouy overboard. It seemed as if that simple action had severed my connection with the life on the shore; that I had thereby cut adrift the ties of convention. The unrealities and illusions of cities and crowds, that I was free now, free to go where I chose, to do and to live and to conquer as I liked, to play the game wherin a man's qualities count for more than his appearance. 'Maurice Griffiths, The Magic of the Swatchways.