Smooth sailing… till the next challenge!

Cat on cat - in the sail bag, full speed under spinnaker - she's got her sea legs!

Bengie, in the sail bag, – full speed under spinnaker – she’s got her sea legs!

What a difference a 12 hour sleep makes!  The Take It Easy crew is a bit more chirpy and rested, feeling up to another overnighter!  At 7am on Saturday, they left Crowdy Head and headed out again by a bright sunny day and calm seas: spinnaker up!  Even Bengie felt brave enough to get out on deck!

Once again, they will keep going for 30 to 34 hours, until probably Ballina or Byron Bay on Sunday night!  They were level with Wooli at 7am this morning. So plenty of smooth sailing!

However it appears you can’t be at sea for very long without yet another challenge!  They had been going for a while on Saturday, but noticed that George, the autopilot, was not keeping them on their heading – in fact he seemed to have a particular attraction for a headland.  No amount of correcting seemed to work.  So down comes the spinnaker, and on go the engines… “gee, it’s hard to steer”!  Wade decides to stop the boat and jump overboard to investigate.  To his dismay he finds one rudder missing – gone – sunk – what the …?  It seems that our sin of last summer, when we hit a rock at Jibbon Beach with the port rudder and bent its shaft, is still coming back to haunt us.  We got the steel shaft straightened, but it must have been weakened in the process and with the efforts of the past week’s sailing, it snapped and the rudder disappeared in the big briny. After the initial shock, they resumed sailing, however it is now really important to keep the sails balanced for George not to lock up and go on strike!

Wade has got hold of Peter Snell, the Easy catamaran designer and builder of Take It Easy,  who is now on the job to make a replacement rudder.  He happens to live in Caboolture, North of Brisbane.  So guess where the guys are going to spend a few days next week?  Minor detour!  But “she’ll be right, mate!”

We have great pictures to share with you, thanks to Merv and I think you will all agree he has done a superb job.  Click on the first image to display the gallery in full screen slide show.

22 thoughts on “Smooth sailing… till the next challenge!

  1. Glad they realized what was going on with the rudder! I LOVE the picture of Bengie sniffing the wind. I’m assuming that it is the same cat who is captured riding in the sail bag at the top. 🙂 Great pics!

    • Hi Kirsten – yes that’s Bengie the ship’s cat! And yes, what a bummer about the rudder… But it will get fixed next week! Just as well they were ahead of schedule.

  2. Experience has proven that once a shaft has been bent then straightened, it always retains a weakness and this issue is testament to the fact. I’m glad Wade now knows what he is dealing with and they are well and progressing safely.

    • Hi Chris, yes in hindsight we probably should have got a new rudder after the rock incident. Now we know! We are lucky Peter Snell is in the country and able to help straight away. It will be good for Wade to meet in.

      • Michelle said she would love to see Peter’s response when he steps on board (assuming he does) and sees Take It Easy after all the work you two have put into updating her.

  3. Great to see some photos, especially the ones of Bengie, that one of her in front of the red sail is fantastic. She looks like a star, glad they got some rest, shame about the rudder, but perhaps, perhaps a good thing, now the sailor gets to meet the boat builder.

    • Thanks Leanne – yes I think it will be good for Take It Easy to visit its maker and for Wade to meet Peter. And yes, isn’t that shot of Bengie stunning!

  4. 2nd try, abbreviated, great shot of star performer, glad the weather is not howling hard. Be good to meet the builder. While work is going on get out the crab pots & try for a feed of big muddies. Hope this works MR T

  5. Thanks again Chris for update….Mervs photos are AWESOME!! LOVE the ones of Bengie…wouldn’t the one of her in the sail bag (with the big red behind) look great on the front cover of Multihull or Cruising Helmsman…!! Too bad about the rudder, but good Peter is able to make another…& Wade gets to meet him, I’m sure he will be amazed at how fantastic TIE looks now! Cute comments from Mike’s little granddaughters skyping each other…Tegan age 7 ( living in Melb)…says Grandad’s getting further & further away…..Nikara ( living in QLD.)..no he’s not…he’s getting closer & closer!!!

    • Evening Jan – you’re up late! We are as bad as each other! Another update coming up tomorrow morning… Love the grand daughters exchange – very cute:) And what a great idea to submit the Bengie picture for Multihull – may not be front cover although it would be awesome, but as the hero shot for an article (yet to be written!). Sleep tight!

  6. They would have really appreciated the sleep in smooth waters. Just logged onto marine traffic and noticed they are again on the move towards Brisi Well done boys

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