June 07, 2012
“Friuday superstition stuff!” I quietly scoffed as we sailed gently out of Fremantle at 1445hrs.
By evening the South Westerly winds combined with waves and swell were throwing us about in very good style. I worked at sail combinations and altered direction to get the most comfortable ride.
At 2010hrs the door to the toilet compartment (aka “The Head”) flew off its hinges across on to me as I was in the galley!
Grady – the British adventurer who has joined as crew is nauseous and is sleeping most of the time, He’s “crook” as one says in the Ausssie vernacular.
Saturday, after daylight, was calm and so the door was able to be replaced with bolts going all the way through the bulkhead to ensure it stays in place in future. A plywood section had to be added to a lee-board for the main bunk as the mattress would slide out and on to the floor. Progress was made with a combination of motoring and sailing.
Sunday started with trying to get the wind vane to stay on course – to the extent that I went backwards and around in a circle! By 0430 the wind had freshened to 25 knots and I was sailing with reefed main and staysail.
And then all sorts of things happened…and to put them in context about where and when would not make interesting reading.
The attachment at the end of a spinnaker pole broke – bounced once on deck – and went plop into the water…as things always do on a boat.
With “champagne sailing” conditions on Sunday evening and me commenting “this is what it is about!” I looked to see a piece of the windvane was loose and disconnected.
- finally repaired THAT bit only to suddenly have the paddle disconnect and float away. It was retrieved.
- Dinghy in the water to look at what had happened but the boat was pitching too much to work safely.
- tied remaining pieces in a sail bag so that I wouldn’t lose anything and used the autopilot.
The wind freshened and I couldn’t raise the main even trying to use the engine to point the boat into the wind. The staysail halyard broke. I used the furling headsail and soldiered on! The UV strip shredded and I now have a VERY tawdry headsail.
Monday evening, while motoring along very pleasantly an exhaust fitting broke.
As always with these things the wind freshens and I have it “right on the nose.”
Crash, bang…close hauled and clawing into the wind to keep on course but being pushed always westward away from my destination.
By Tuesday late afternoon we were off Geraldton tacking to achieve a good entry into Geraldton harbour.
At that point I called Geraldton Sea Rescue and requested a tow. To remain at sea with conditions expected to deteriorate significantly was not a good option.
And that’s why I am at the Geraldton Public Jetty with a list of things to do.
What I CAN say is that SHADOW is a superb sea boat.
AND…the enclosure of the cockpit that I had done was Fantastically Successful and made dreadful conditions bearable.
ONWARDONWARD – after repairs and a bout of bad weather passes through. I have decided however to NOT leave on a Friday….
1. Barbecued Kangaroo steaks marinated in herbs and garlic with creamed potatoes, carrots and mushrooms.
2. OOPS – the exhaust…
3.The Trusty Folding Bike for Geraldton Manouevres
4. No engine but WOW the Wind Generator kept the batteries topped up and I could use the autopilot …and everything…without a problem. Even had cold beer to give to the Sea and Rescue guys!
5. British adventurer, Grady, keeps his eyes on the horizon.