Thu 26 Nov 2009
The Royal Navy aboard “Adventure” depart Perth twice in one day
We have just re-read the last paragraph of the last Blog – how naïve we were!!!!!!
We sailed from Perth, full of expectation, excitement and enthusiasm – sunscreen applied liberally, sunhats adorned, the sails went up and the fenders and warps were stowed in the bowels of the ship not to be seen for another fortnight. The ship was made ship shape – we were at sea. The VHF radio sprung into life advising the skipper we did indeed have to take the trysail track with us and not leave it for shipping to Sydney. The Skipper swore heavily and dutifully announced that we were not allowed to laugh about this for two years.
The sails came down, the fenders and warps were recovered (just as an indicator this is 60 minutes of aerobic activity-moving dinghy, flankers and opening and closing forepeak stowage) and the ship was made ready to go alongside. The trysail tack was recovered within 30 seconds with a slick manoeuvre but we were now significantly behind the other two boats-more importantly we were now chasing the weather window to get round Cape Leeuwin and enter the notoriously awesome Southern Ocean. After some creative navigation and re-hoisting of sails etc we were now moving by wind power alone – fantastic feeling – we rendezvoused with the other two vessels on the start line…. but look… there were four of us in formation 2. A whale had come to see us off. All four of us crossed the start line together and we were racing……………fine seas and searing sun – the Skipper’s promise of barefoot sailing and sundowners for the off watch was all looking good.
But wait – the Gods of wind and sea had something else in mind – we had been completely lulled into a false sense of security. Despite the flying fish and the array of birdlife the weather was beginning to turn. A reef was put in and shaken out then put in again then shaken again – some good practice for all the crew. A full main and a No 2 Yankee soon were overpowering the boat and it was time to stand back and have a rethink – two reefs and a sail change – not easy to do in these seas – fore sail off and we reduced to a number 3 yankee – the sea and the wind had changed considerably for the worse and this made the simple task really quite onerous- the speed of the change caught us dressed improperly and we were soaked – nonetheless it was still satisfying to look back on completion at a job well done.
There are –
- Feeling seasick
- Feeling as if you are going to die
- Wishing you were dead
The sea has been unrelenting with 30ft waves and huge walls of water giving the yacht a completely unpredictable motion. All of the crew have been in the realms of the above – from number 1 through to the majority suffering 2 and 3. We thought at one point we had only sailed with 14 people but it has now been confirmed that all 15 of us have been upright at some point. That being said we are all a little bruised, battered and tired and looking forward to maybe some relief from this non-stop roller coaster courtesy of King Neptune.
A good indicator to the sea state is the fact we have seen no other yachts or sails and to that end have only seen one small coaster who glided past us in the night – we all had visions of them playing snooker on their stable platform and watching agog from their bridge at the insanity that was being played out on their starboard side. Despite all of this, spirit is high and morale was added to with the showers being put on today – our very own human washing machine!
There is a real sense of achievement to round one of the three hallowed Capes under sail and ADVENTURE sits 30NM south of Bald Head (appropriate for some) South Australia. 300NM of challenging sailing complete – what is in store for the next 2000NM?
Steve says that water doesn’t go down the plughole the other way round on this yacht despite being in the southern hemisphere – water goes anywhere it can find a home!!! Love to all XXXX
Pete says hi to Tina, Ellie Emma and James, get packing for Christmas and Emma, stop dancing until after we get home! XXXX A big hello to all back in the GOSCC – after several days of heavy weather, this is still better than being in work!
Col says hello to Pagey Girl. Just had my first shower for 4 days; feel so much better. I love you and miss you lots and can’t wait to see you in Sydney. Not too long now. Enjoy your ‘James Bond Night’ in the Mess. XXX
Jules, if you’re reading, hope you’re well and the pregnancy is on track, Good luck with the birth!
Neil says Hi to Debs xx, The BFBs, all at Vivid and Hazel & Giles at work, been classic Southern Ocean so far. I’m steering for the light breezes and flat seas but can’t see them whilst we’re in the trough of another monster wave!!
Sara says hi to all back home and has enjoyed the start of this adventurous sail in the Southern Ocean around Australia. Hoping that the seas will be calm and the wind strong to allow us to have a swift and safe passage for our travels. Missing her boo! Counting the days!. Love to all. Sxx
Mike says hi to all his family and friends, special mention to Ben and Jess, hope you are behaving? Hopefully today is a day to celebrate but I will find out when I get back home J Love to Vee, hope you are feeling ok? Must keep battling with Neptune, love to all Mwah xxxxx
Amanda says hi to family and friends. Today I mostly feeling sick and being sick!!! Oh what a great way to spend £650. Lets get Sydney as soon as!!!!!!
Kevin says hi Ros and the kids and Andy if you are tracking us. Should in Sydney possibly 6/7th Dec.
Olly gives a shout out to Lucy and Connor!
Tom says hi to all at home. Spent the morning mostly getting wet, then more wet and enjoyed his journey through a few monster waves! But all good fun! Missing you loads Annie, can’t wait to see you again. Love U xxx
Rich says hi to all, good breeze out here, rolling around like a bugger, loving the first few days and here’s to having some sunshine soon! Alex, miss you loads, hope Oliver isn’t keeping you up too much. Big hug for you both. Bring on Sydney! Lots of Love. Rich. Xxxx
Claire et al., Enforced bulimia, coping well and having fun. Jeremy.xxx