Legnica (Liegnitz), Poland

gratisaustralisEurope and European Waterways, Ocean Crossings

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This was the day we took to explore what remained of the old town of Legnica. Driving along the road entering the city, one espied first a massive modern cemetery, then just past it a much older one left dilapidated and covered in thick jungle. Today, Bob and I had a closer look. It turned out the forefront was Jewish … Read More

Excursion in Little G2

gratisaustralisIndian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, Rodrigues

  Breakfast completed, we loaded Little G2 with a picnic lunch and camera kit. Heading westward we explored the shoreline. With frequent showers falling, it sadly meant my D700 had to remain in the case and I had to be happy using the 1AW1. From the water it is possible to see how rugged Rodrigues is: volcanic rock, evidence of the … Read More

Saint Helena to Barbados

gratisaustralisAtlantic Ocean, Barbados, Ocean Crossings, Saint Helena

Departing Saint Helena for Barbados on April 1st, as ocean crossings go, this leg was a breeze! 28 days, a slow average of 5 knots due to extremely light winds: what a change. Where light winds had prevailed on previous legs, slight adjustments had been made to the course in an attempt to keep with the stronger winds – all to no avail. … Read More

South Africa to Saint Helena, Day 2

gratisaustralisAfrica, Atlantic Ocean, Ocean Crossings, Saint Helena, South Africa 2014

Excitement of the day occurred first thing. Upon awakening, I entered the pilot house as the whirring of the fishing line commenced. Mental faculties poorly operating as a result of sleep deprivation, looking at Bob the only sounds emitted from my mouth were, ‘Fish! Fish! Fish………….’ Bob glanced askance at me, with total lack of comprehension. I repeated, ‘fish, fish, … Read More

Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, Day 3

gratisaustralisAfrica, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, South Africa 2014

Between Mossel Bay and Cape Town Early morning, still no wind: how monotonous, but a blessing in disguise, as our slow motoring speed meant the worst of the strong winds expected around Cape Agulhas the following day would be missed. In a first, it was a case of slowing Gratis down. Oil Platforms upon the horizon were silhouetted against the darkening … Read More

Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, Day 2

gratisaustralisAfrica, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, South Africa 2014

Calm seas all night, nil wind meant motoring and low speeds: what a contrast to the last leg. Morning found Gratis surrounded by ships in the busiest shipping route encountered to date. Fishing boats were doing their thing just south of us, whilst a myriad of birds soared across skies and waves. Bob made the decision to attempt fishing once … Read More

Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, Day 1

gratisaustralisAfrica, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, South Africa 2014

Mid-afternoon, Gratis entered the gentle swirls of the eastern coast of South Africa once more. What wind there was came from the South – upon the nose. With sea swirls flowing beneath, we were entertained by a mama Pacific gull educating her fledglings in ocean flying. Off, she would take, only to land a short distance ahead. Patiently, she waited, … Read More

Durban to Port Elizabeth, Day 3

gratisaustralisAfrica, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, South Africa 2014

Having arrived in Port Elizabeth early that morning, the ensuing evening saw an unpredicted strong westerly blow: what a relief to know we were not thrumming into the waves and swell. This was a time where, unable to purchase an ali whisker pole of the right thickness and weight, a second much stronger piece of wood was purchased. Bob thinking … Read More

Durban to Port Elizabeth, Day 2

gratisaustralisAfrica, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, South Africa 2014

Fun this morning. Twins up, a beautiful relaxing warm shower to release the aching muscles, enjoying a cup second coffee for the day, we were carefully monitoring the wind as it commenced creeping up and down, like a shy animal teasing as it slithered forward then back as one attempted to entice it out. A sudden short sharp burst of … Read More

Durban to Port Elizabeth, Day 1

gratisaustralisAfrica, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, South Africa 2014

Midnight, the alarm rudely emitted its piercing cry. Finally, the long awaited weather window had arrived and a northerly was gently kissing the air. A final perusal of the weather predictions online, Big Bertha roared to life. Mooring lines released, Gratis gracefully glided into the darkness. With the coming of full daylight, it was possible to view the rolling hills … Read More