I am going to update our trip home as often as I can, reception permitting.
We are kind of aiming to be in Sydney by Saturday if all goes to plan. (We know how sailing plans tend to go!)
Day 1 of our return – March 11th
Up by 6:30 and showered, fueled and watered we were on our way out by 8:20am. Its sad leaving Kettering as we have had such a wonderful time and have felt so welcome. Vowing to return we Head straight for Denison canal aiming to be there on high tide and go through about 30 minutes afterwards.
So far so good, The bridge and canal transit is successful, the weather again quite calm. we have heard all kinds of stories so we are always on our guard.
This is our 4th Canal transit this trip! Starting to feel like we got this part under control!
Sailing up past Maria Island the wind is picking up and shifting around, Now NE about 15 to 20 knots. We decide to stop at Darlington, Maria Island until the wind swings around to the west. Dropping anchor by 6:15pm ish. we got a good couple hour sleep in.
By 9:30pm we are on our way again. Evan has the helm now while I get to chill for a bit longer. Its very dark tonight as I can see the moon is just about to set. The winds are light close to the coast although I expect further off shore there is a good westerly building. We will stay pretty close to shore for this leg of the journey.
I’m signing off for now. Catch you later xoxox
DAY 2 – Motor Sailing up to Banks Strait and beyond – March 12th
We did a couple more shifts before the night was through. Evan taking the last shift which was miserable because the wind has not shifted to the west as predicted, it stayed on our nose as a northerly most of the time so the sailing was a combination of slapping waves on the hull, rolling from the swell. I checked the weather and it looks like there is a roaring westerly happening but its not. Predict wind was the only forecast tool that shows a pocket where we were that was still northerly. There is much room for improvement in weather knowledge on my end. This morning, officially day, 2 we pulled into Long Point to wait for the westerly change and to give Evan some much needed rest.
Long Point is a great place to hide from a North wind and would be pretty beach to explore with more time. He got about 20 minutes rest before the change occurred so up came the anchor and off we go.
As a note, Long Point is about as far as we got on our first try coming home when our steering failed and we turned back to Bicheno.
A bit further north and our wind died again! We left Long Point at about 9:30am, it is now 3:30pm and we have had almost no wind except for the change that came through and blew by. Literally the wind has worked its way around our directional dial. We have passed St Marys, Scamander, Binalong Bay and now Bay of Fire. Still no wind. If I look at any forecast it shows that there is a pumping SW 25-30 knots gusting to 40 right now through Banks Strait. Not long to go to get there and this is what it looks like outside.
We have heavily reefed our mainsail to ready for the oncoming winds. Kinda hard to believe they are right around the corner but I am not taking any chances. Presently aiming at Gabo Island we are taking the Rhumb line (shortest path between two points) This SW should help push us there. Fingers crossed.
I know at some point soon I will lose reception. This may be my last post for a little while.
Note: Our engine stopped charging the batteries! okay good grief. Evan has just done some reconnaissance and found one of the bushes in the alternator has come lose. Okay Now I am kind of glad it is calm and windless for the moment. He is downstairs fixing this as I speak.
Its Fixed!!! He is a marvel!!
Note to would be long voyage sailors; Keep a spare set of alternator brushes and a way to attach them.