Sydney to Ulladulla!


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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