“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”. Proverbs 22: 6
Hi Amazing Peeps
We are in Port Hacking.
We planned to leave JB about midnight Monday night and sail through the night to get to here by Tuesday evening. It didn’t happen that way.
My last post was about how JB was bumpy. Well it just got worse. We were up twice a night and awake so many times. It was impossible to sleep through. On Monday morning, it continued and continued.
Steve & I were exhausted. The kids didn’t really care as they sleep through almost anything. We talked Monday morning as when we leave. Then an hour before we left, it became completely calm. We contemplated staying but didn’t want another night awake. Then 10 minutes before we left it picked up again and we said HELL NO! We raised a reefed main, turned on the motor and by 4:50pm we were off. There was no waiting around.
As we turned passed Point Perpendicular, we entered the washing machine and the current. It was SO PAINFULLY SLOW! We steadily made our way northwards.
It took us all night to get to Wollongong. We had a reefed mainsail, our staysail and by morning, our Genoa partly unfurled. We either got too much wind or not enough. It was painful. Steve & I both struggled to stay awake for our watches but persisted. Natasha went to bed at 8pm while Blade stayed up till 10pm. He then turned in and I was alone till 12am. I was so tired, it was a moonless night and we were moving painfully slow. It would have been easy to sleep but persist I did with way too much caffeine.
At 12am I woke Steve for his watch. I also woke Natasha for her watch. She was great! She got dressed without fuss. I had to tell her about 5 times to make Dad a coffee, then she was asking me how. Poor thing took about 10 minutes to wake up. Once she was awake though, she settled into her watch Fantastically.
Steve woke me at 3am as he was having trouble controlling everything. The wind had picked up for a bit and Sumbawa was being blown around a bit like a fish on deck – moving everywhere. Steve had put away the staysail and just had the reefed main. As I sat in the cockpit, barely able to open my eyes, I waited to see what I could do. Natasha woke Blade at this point for his watch, then went for some sleep. The wind eased again and I went down for a touch more rest.
At 4:30am I took my watch. Steve immediately crashed on the saloon couch as was out. Blade and I stayed up, trying not to fight the wind too much. At 5:30am, Blade woke Ryan & Kita for their watch. They are too young to handle the sheets on their own but together they work well. They watched the sun rise with me as we were lucky to get 10 knots of wind. We were crawling again.
This is when I thought it a good idea to partial open the Genoa again. This increased our speed for a while, then the gusts would hit. The gusts got me every time and maybe if I rode them out, it would have been ok. But because it is new to us, no-one really likes being on a 35° angle yet. Maybe it’s the way the sails are set that it’s not propelling enough and just tipping. I know where the wind needs to hit but in the gusts, I’m more concerned about not letting us flip. Is that too new? Can we flip just by having the wind beam on? That is my fear, so I turn out of them.
Well this one I turned into instead of away. So we powered up and tilted more. Ryan was on the lower side because he was fishing and said he nearly pooped himself. Again all were tethered but it was still scary.
Steve woke up yelling what the hell was happening as I turned into the wind. We then furled the genoa again, then the wind stopped – AAHHHHH!
It took us a full 24 hours to get from JB to Port Hacking. I have to get the hang of this sailing thing! I’m sure we are not meant to be this slow.
Steve on his way down from Sydney to Eden went through some terrifying stuff. We didn’t watch the weather close enough and after 6 months away, was desperate to be with us. It wasn’t a great trip. Because of that, he is more cautious about how he sails. I’m not as cautious but I don’t understand the boat, the wind and the sails enough to know what Sumbawa or I can handle. I’m sure that will come with more time.
As we come into Port Hacking, the seas had risen to 3 metres. Just before we arrived, we had a massive pod of common dolphins play with us. They flicked up their tails and swam along the boat for ages. The kids loved this and they were a welcome site for everyone.
As we entered, we asked the sun to stay up, just for a bit longer so we could anchor. It did and we anchored at Jibbon Beach successfully. The rolling stopped. There was a touch of bouncing but having spent a few days in a NW wind at Hole In The Wall, this was a piece of cake.
We turned off the motor, set the anchor alarm and didn’t move. Steve barely ate and went to bed. Everyone was in bed by 7pm and we slept soundly.
At 6am, Steve & I woke to the sound of the stays singing as 30 knot winds rushed through them. Steve went up to check everything, all was good so came back to bed. I was still so tired and being able to cuddle into him was so relaxing and we both dozed off again…….for 15 minutes.
Then we were woken by the anchor alarm. We both flew out of bed so fast there was barely enough time to grab clothes. By the time we got topside, we were almost on the beach.
I woke Blade for the extra hands.
I turned on the motor as Steve and Blade removed the snubber and raised anchor. I was moving too fast that the anchor couldn’t come up, so Steve told me to stop. We then were facing the beach and being pushed inwards. At JB, I saw Sue from Yaraandoo II reverse away from the beach as Mike raised anchor. I did the same. I put her into reverse (Sumbawa not Sue, HAHA) and backed away while the last of the anchor was brought up.
We moved back just past our original anchor spot and dropped it again, only this time with more chain and we also dropped a second anchor. We then started an anchor watch – so much for our sleep in.
It has been blowing in excess of 30 knots all day. Not overly restful but I’m not getting seasick at anchor like in JB so still good.
We are taking it easy from here. We have no time line, no pressures, just our time. We are looking at moving into Sydney on Monday depending on the weather. From there, it’s just fun and exploration.
That’s my favourite bit.
You’re all awesome. You’re advice is appreciated for someone so new to sailing.
Beccie is a Best Selling Author, a World Travelling Sailor, an Awesome Wife and the Best Mum to the 10 most Amazing Children on the Planet, a Millionaire, a Polyglot and an Oracle