Hard Yakka!

Progress and weather at 4.00pm on 26/6/15.

Progress and weather at 4.00pm on 26/6/15.

One look at the MetEye map and you know that the guys have made huge progress northward in 56 hours!

They left Bermagui on Wednesday morning, initially motoring, but the engines were turned off later that day as the wind switched to the Southeast.  More fishing of bonitos and whale watching occurred as they inched their way up the coast then entered busier waters:  Wollongong, Cronulla, Sydney, Newcastle, Port Stephens…  56 hours after they left Bermagui, they pulled in at Crowdy Head, just south of Port Macquarie for an overnight rest.  They will sleep well tonight at anchor.  And it is well earned!

The second day and night underway gets really hard.  The lack of decent sleep gets to you, the  concentration needed when in more crowded waters is demanding, and you get this seedy feeling when tiredness overcomes you. It all catches up with you and it becomes really hard yakka.  Our sailors had a tough second night at sea as they passed Newcastle and the many ships lined up along that stretch of coast, forcing them to steer much closer to the shore than they were comfortable with.  It is not unusual to count 20 big ships, some anchored, some moving.  It’s hard enough steering a course through the huge ships during the day, but at night it’s damn right stressful. The other thing that made it hard for them was that the wind and sea have been on their beam.  This makes the motion of the boat  very uncomfortable and to add to the challenge, George, the autopilot, does not do the best of jobs in these conditions, meandering widely.  So the guys have had to hand steer a lot of the way, which makes the watches that much tougher.

Crowded waters North of Sydney

Crowded waters North of Sydney

It is without saying that the three of them are suffering from lack of sleep and feeling rather wasted.  So although the weather is staying in the Southeast for quite a few more days, Wade has wisely opted to stop at Crowdy Head so the team can rest.  An exhausted crew spells trouble and the last thing we want is mishaps and accidents at sea.  No sailing tonight, just an early pre-prepared dinner (thank god for frozen meals) and beddy bye by nightfall at 5.30 pm !

Take It Easy anchored at Crowdy Head by 3.30 on 26/6/15.

Take It Easy anchored at Crowdy Head by 3.30 on 26/6/15.

They will resume their sail northward on Saturday.  Stay tuned for the next instalment!

8 thoughts on “Hard Yakka!

  1. It has been hard yakka for the boys to get so far in so short a time, I would give them a big pat on the back for their efforts and getting a long nights sleep will raise their spirits for the morrow. The traffic should be less now past Newcastle, maybe a better class of fish for dinner tonight. How long can you stay in the tropics to enjoy our warm weather??? Thanks for the update on the trip.

    • Hi Terry! I agree – huge effort! Should get a little easier from here on. Wade had a jump overboard for a dip as soon ad the anchor went down… the sure sign the water is getting warmer!

      I think they are having a frozo tonight- something that just needs warming up then off to bed!

      We’ll be spending 3 weeks up at the Southern part of the reef with my family, then back to the cold!

  2. Hello again Chris…thanks so much for your update on the fellas….you are an A1 journalist!! Sounds like they had a tough night, great experience though! No doubt they will sleep well tonight. I am surprised at their progress…would they be past the half way mark yet? Hard to believe it will be a week tomorrow since they left!

    • Hi Jan! Yes they sounded a bit wrecked… As I said the second night out is tough. They are past the half way mark and also past the hardest bits with busy areas of Wollongong, Sydney and Newcastle behind them. Those big ships are horrible! Take care. 🙂

  3. It all sounds so easy when “sailing up the coast” is said but never again will I just nod my head, responding with “how nice that must be”, much praise shall be bestowed upon them instead. Wha a mighty effort from your crew on TIE. What a relief the weather isn’t “too” bad.

  4. Thanks Chris for your updates. It has been great to learn extra details as sometimes Merv hasn’t felt well enough to talk for long. Some of our friends are enjoying your blog and appreciate your photographic skills. So northward go our sailors with our thoughts and prayers for their safety and enjoyment of this wonderful trip!

    • Hello Robyn – the guys are doing really well. A good night sleep makes all the difference and their spirits are up again today! Sailing trips like this one are an intense experience: big highs and tough moments too! I think they are getting a memorable voyage! 🌅🐳💨

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