January 16, 2012
As usual the Tasman was an eventful crossing. Brent has made 7 crossings and Raewyn 5. Each and every time preceeded by waiting for a weather window.
We made it to Australia, not where we originally intended but the same continent! Actually we left too late to make Darwin due to weather in New Zealand, we left late battling winter lows, and had a rough passage. We sailed NNE for 4 days before we were even able to turn west toward OZ. Leaving NZ was NW winds 25Kt gusting into the 30’s so we were hard on the wind and was not a fun way to start a major passage, however we pressed on, just got above the low approaching from Tasmania as it passed under us avoiding north winds, that was the first time in 4 days we were able to ease sheets, two days of nice reaching in 15-20Kt then the winds picked up to 25-30 gusting 35-40 for the remaining trip, some epic seas were endured, we were tossed around like a toy, however Crusoe made it with flying colors, a lighter less stable boat may have had some problems in the seas we were in, some breaking onto Crusoe, the pilot house windows (one of the things that we had reservations about) proved to be as advertised (supposed to be as strong as 8mm steel).
We traveled 1900+ miles in 11days 21 hours, about 158 NM per day average, there were a few dramas but nothing major we could not fix, some with the help of John Robinson (thanks John) but this trip was really the “shake down” sail as all others we did together were light airs and short overnight sails around the Bay of Islands.