We are on our way home! We leave Wineglass Bay at 6:30am. All four other boats have already departed and we are the slack ones sleeping in. The sunrise is shaping up to be beautiful and the swell is gentle and the winds to our SE. All looks good so far.
The day is progressing along nicely, the weather is beautiful, the seas are a bit sloppy the only hiccup to this perfect picture is that Kelly is feeling seasick.
Bugger, being seasick sucks, it feels like morning sickness with stomach cramps and nausea. I have run out of Travacalm and tried an alternative that just doesn’t work. Twice I tried and both times they came back up with a roar. So now I am refusing to take anything and my body is fine with not eating.
[not feeling so well]
The first night is event free, the SE winds pick up a bit more and we reef the main and headsail to manage. The seas are calm and the sailing wonderful. We managed to do 3 hourly shifts and get some sleep in. The next day is the same, sunny and beautiful with a nice SE to E wind in the order of 15 to 20 knots. This is just too good to last.
Should not have said that last line. Do you remember in the blog where we first came across Bass Strait? the first 18 hours was a dream run and the last 18 hours was hellish. Well perhaps there is a rule that part of the trip has to have some real effort.
At about 2am on Saturday morning (black outside) the NE winds started. A 20 to 25 knots wind with gusts to 30 knots. A bit higher than forecast but workable. As the wind increased we reefed both the main and headsail and a bit later put another reef in. The seas rose so we had a rougher ride than expected. That was not the worst part. So far the winds and waves are manageable and we are heading in the right direction. We are also dodging ships appearing in the shipping lane but this also was not the worst part.
The worst part came after sunrise, we can see land! We approach Gabo Island and our pace is slowing, the wind in becoming more N now. Nooooo……. as we head north our progress is painfully slow. We are tacking into a 20-30 knot headwind with the underlying currents also against us. We see on AIS that another sailing vessel, the Mersea is following us. We imagine they are going through hell as well.
[top: Babel Island, Bottom: Beach just north of Babel]
Tacking up the coast we force our way closer to land to reduce the ocean current. It is still slow. It is taking hours and hours to get anywhere. At 5pm Marine Rescue Eden ring us asking where we are. They were notified by Tas Maritime that we should be there by 5pm. We told them that we are just around the corner at Cape Green lighthouse but are fighting the wind.
[Green Cape Lighthouse]
They added another 1.5 hours to our schedule and wished us luck. At 6:30 we were in contact with Marine Rescue again to increase our arrival time to 8pm. good grief.
At least during one of our tacks we were able to get close enough to the sailing vessel ‘SV Tenacious’. This is a beauty, a British wooden sail training ship, specially designed in the 1990s to accommodate anyone over 16 with a disability. We got a chance to see this at the Hobart Wooden boat festival last month.
Finally, finally we did a long enough tack that saw us finally pointing into Two-Fold Bay at Eden. Hallelujah!!! The sun is setting and we managed to make it into Snug Cove just after dark. There is a navel training exercise going on so there are more lights and action than we saw the last time. We radioed Marine Rescue with the good news, dropped anchor, ate beans and toast and promptly we went to bed. EXHAUSTED!
DAY 50 – EDEN getting over the body shock of not much sleep or food.
We slept for almost 12 hours straight, glorious sleep. This morning we had showers then started cleaning Nashira. Looking through all the lockers to clean out any water that may have gotten in and drying a few damp items. Overall we are really happy with Nashira, she is pretty much a dry boat and has managed to safely sail through some pretty rough weather.
We are moving slowly like stunned mullets. Bodies are not entirely happy with our behaviour over the last couple days. Finally we decide to go ashore and get some lunch and visit the Killer Whale museum. I am super happy about this as I missed out seeing this on the way south.
[photo by killerwhalemuseum.com.au]
This museum really is worth a visit as the information is so well set out with several hands-on displays and videos beautifully presented.
On the way back to Nashira, Evan got to talking to a man on the yacht ‘Blue Lady’. He had just arrived from Gabo Island and had been told by a cruiser that was heading south they had seen two yachts (us and Mersea) fighting their way up the coast and looking like hard work. No wonder Blue Lady had stayed hidden at Gabo Island. Smart, we will remember this for next time!
Tonight we finished tidying up Nashira, ate leftovers and had a relaxed night trying to work out the best timing to head back to Sydney. It seems so close but so far the weather is atrocious. Sydney has been copping some awful weather this summer/Autumn. We will have another look tomorrow morning. For now another good night sleep is in order.
Happy sleeping and good dreams
xoxoxoxo Kelly & Evan