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.