Monthly Archives:November 2016

It Gets Worse!

Nov 14, 16
Our Large Crazy Nomad Family
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Ulladulla to Eden…….well nearly.

All probs were fixed as good as could be in Ulladulla. It’s a great little port and the people are really nice. The sailors love sharing their stories which make us feel better for being towed in. I know it’s just pride but it’s embarrassing to admit that we can’t do it and yet sailors say it happens all the time.

Sunday 13 November 0900 – Sambawa sets off for the next leg. Ulladulla to Eden is roughly 110 nautical miles. We chose a day when winds are higher. The average wind speed was forecast at 16knots with gusts up to 26 knots NW with waves around 1m. We new the gusts were high for us but we wanted to fly down. We knew if she can get 7 knots with just Genoa out then all 3 sails should get us around 10 knots – that’s 11 hours to Eden.

The sky was clear and again warm. No rain was expected until tomorrow. Monday the winds were meant to jump right up and so were the waves but we’d be in Eden right – so off we go.

We get out the heads and head for deeper water. All is good – waves are a little higher than expected but good. Wind is blowing steadily and at motor we reach 4 knots easily. Motor is doing – just purring along. Sambawa feels good.

Genoa and staysail are put up first. Genoa refuses to unfurl the whole way and gets stuck 2/3rds out. Annoying but manageable.

The winds now hit with the expected force. We are flying. Reach 8 knots without main but Hubby says this is enough for him to handle right now. Boat is leaning over quite a bit now but making great time. Stomach in throat but ok.

Winds now pick right up and boat hits a 45° tilt. Genoa in making front heavy and gunrail gets pushed under water. Genoa is furled in slightly. Staysail is picking up any wind that would’ve passed under Genoa and keeping us going.

Waves now reach 2m with wind wave (seas) coming at around 3 and around 2 seconds and wind has increased to a steady 30 knots. Hubby is struggling to control her now. He furls Genoa all the way and just leaves staysail. Standing up is a real trick now. He cant leave cockpit, it’s taking everything just to steer.

12pm Staysail tears in 3 pieces as wind gusts reach 40+ knots. He cant get out there and and grab it even while tethered, it is taking his whole body to steer now. Exhaustion is setting in.

Wind and waves and acting like a washing machine and progress is now slow. We decide to go into Batemans Bay. It’s only 40 miles south of Ulladulla but it feels like the safest thing to do. So heading is set for Batemans. The thing is now we’re fighting the wind.

Motor is turned on and we get 4-5 knots except when the gusts hit then we are down to 2 knots. The engine is being pushed hard but not extreme and she handles it really well.

6pm engine dies and there seems to be what looks like oil in the water reserve…..oh no. We are now fighting wind and waves with no motor, a torn staysail and a Genoa that won’t unfurl.

7pm Radio Marine Rescue for a tow – again. Can’t believe it. Can’t get 40 miles without help. So upset.

They ask us to deploy sea anchor to slow our drift so we do. It takes 2 hours to see them on horizon at which point we have to release a flare. As they near we need to pull in sea anchor but she won’t come in all the way, Hubby’s just too exhausted. We’re told to cut it free – this felt like the final straw. I know it’s just a sea anchor but to lose another thing was just heartbreaking but it was done regardless.

Sambawa was hooked up and the towing started around 9.30pm. It was slow going with the wind and waves but we were moving. Then the waves die down and we are now being towed at 8 knots – typical.

We finally get in at nearly midnight and they get us to anchor on the lee side of Snapper Island in Batemans. They say the holding is good and we should be fine for the night.

Hubby’s tired, sore and devastated – is this what it’s always like? He just wants to come home but Sambawa can’t be left. The engine needs to be looked at, the staysail replaced, the furler fixed, a new sea anchor bought, top up flares and now windlass decides it’s going to play up.

A good night of sleep will fix it and we’ll assess tomorrow tomorrow.

This is our sailing adventure so far. It has to improve doesn’t it?

There’s more to come with dragging anchors then mooring blocks but that’s next time.

Have a spectacular day you wonderful people.

Cheers

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Sydney to Ulladulla!

Nov 13, 16
Our Large Crazy Nomad Family
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Hi Amazingly Spectacular Peeps,

It is Thursday 5th November at 0600 (6am). Routes have been decided, charts marked, chart plotter set and everything ready – well as much as can be. If we waited for everything to be perfect, we’d never leave. 

The wind is a Northerly, the sky is clear and it’s warm – 22°C (72°F). Anchor raised and motor on and we’re moving. Sambawa is off for her maiden voyage with us.

Sydney Harbour is beautiful – almost glass looking – that is until the ferry traffic really hits. She is going slow, mostly out of Hubby’s nervousness. Finally she gets out of the heads.

She heads syraight out before turning South for the journey down to Ulladulla which is about 140 nautical miles south.

Out of nervousness and unfamiliarity of the boat, only the genoa is raised. It is an ocean sailing vess with an 18m mast, so the genoa is big. Almost immediately she hits 7 knots. She is set up as a cutter but we go slow. 7 knots motor sailing and doing good. The waves are around half a meter and the wind around 5 with gusts about 12 knots – easy sailing.

I’m on the phone to him again and again more profanities. The engine just died. We had been having problems with wayer in the guel but as long as he emptied the cups when they filed they were fine. Wow! It was hot in there. You could smell the heat. So we sail for a while, let it cool.

It is so quiet under sail. We just cruise along now at 5knots. Hubby is now steering with his feet, enjoying the scenery. Time to try the auto pilot. It’s an old style that only holds bearing but that is enough. It works…..for 10 minutes. So annoying but not the end of things so she continues.

Waves get higher, now 1.5m, Still ok. Motor started but super rough and the fumes. 2 hatches are opened.

Waves now 2m and wind dies -1 knot. We have genoa and staysail up but no main. Motor dies again but this time it wont start. We are at 1 knot wind and no motor.

The day goes by and motor won’t start. We go to put up mainsail only to find a broken rope – no mainsail. No one at this point has realized the radio is not working. The last time the motor cut out it shut the radio down.

It’s 6pm and he was going to pull in for the night. He now is about 8 miles out at a depth of 76 fathoms going 3 knots. She has another 74 miles to go to reach Ulludulla.

7pm I lose communication. We expected this but it’s nerve rackingnontheless.

4.30am Friday 6th November. I woke to feed bubby and afterward tried to call Hubby – got through. He is now 7 miles above Jervis Bay still another 50 odd miles from Ulladulla. He is going to pull in at Jervis, he is ruined. Overnight the waves reached 3m coming from every direction. The cooling hose was knocked off the back of the motor, billage pump stopped working and for some reason, the billage was filling. 

The blocks that tighten the Genoa are in the wrong place so she can’t be pulled tight but was running wing to wing through the night reaching a top speed of 3 knots. Lost communication again.

Called again at around 11am – he had spent last 3 hours trying to get into Jervis Bay. Tide was going out and getting in was impossible at such low speed so he continued on.

3pm – motor running but only just above idle. Sambawa is now doing 1 knot and there is no wind. Have to pull in at Ulludulla now. I call Ulladulla Marine Rescue to inform them of the situation. During this he gets the radio working. They call then radio. He doesn’t need help yet but he is coming in slowly.

6pm – 36hrs since setting off and no sleep. Marine Rescue can see him and confirm he is going 1 knot per hour. They then have a team meeting – do they go home for dinner first or go get him. They decide on the latter.

He is towed in and tied him to dock at 8pm, 38 hrs after setting sail. What shakedown sail.

Stay tuned for more weird happenings out on the Ocean

Have a Spectacular day

_____________________________C.Z. Schofield is a best selling author, a world traveling sailor, an awesome wife and mother of the 10 best children on the planet, a millionaire and polyglot

 

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WTF! How’d That Happen?

Nov 13, 16
Our Large Crazy Nomad Family
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Hi amazing peeps,

I know I have been super quiet. Here’s what has been happening.

15 Oct – Sailing Day

Hubby was meant to leave Sydney. Everything was ready, just waiting for the easterlies to die down. 2 anchors were down but one was lifted ready to set off.

Hubby was on the phone to me when sudden profanities started – we were dragging anchor. No problems, just lift anchor and reposition right – no. As anchor started to be lifted, it was tangked on just one being a large stainless steel handrail. Also not thinking, the moment we lifted anchor we headed straight for the rocks. The motor was on but being by himself, he could motor out and raise and remove junk.

Anchor was dropped again immediately and but Sambawa had floated close to tge rocks. He trued to but throttle on then rause again but now easterlies blowing so hard that even with that, she was still dragging so another anchor was thrown then another then out of desperation the dingy one as well.

She is still dragging. We had 4 anchors out,  one being all chain. What we didn’t remember is that when we raised secons anchor that morning, we also raised a lot of the chain of the first anchor. The extra weight wasn’t there anymore. 

We called all the people we knew around the area, no one answered. Hubby tried to hail down a motorboat that slowed to watch what was happening. It proceeded to drive away. WOW!

Finally after hours trying to slow the drag we had no other choice – harbour marine police were called. They came, dragged her out to deeper water, checked out the debris on the anchor and left. They were amazing. So now we are anchored properly with loads of chain out.

We weren’t even out of the Harbour and we needed help. It all happened so fast but control over the situation was lost so fast even with quick thinking.

Our other problem was that our dingy was facing in such a way as to act like a scoop for the wind. Definitely a different position next time.

That was enough to drive us both to tears so a trip home was necessary.

Read next of how we left the Harbour and why we needed a tow into Ulludulla.

Have a great day all.

_____________________________C.Z.Schofield is a best selling author, a world traveling sailor, an awesome wife and mum to the 10 best children on the planet, a millionaire and a polyglot.

 

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