Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 12

gratisaustralisAustralia, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, Western Australia

07:40 Cocos Keeling was sighted. A burst of excitement and expectation surged through us. Two hours later, having meandered through the reefs of coral, we were at last anchored only metres from shore in the most idyllic of places as five harmless two foot long Black Tipped Reef Sharks and the largest pelagic fish we had ever seen, arrived to … Read More

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 11

gratisaustralisAustralia, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, Western Australia

How different could two days be!!! It was an awakening to 8 knots of breeze and 77nm miles remaining: dead seabirds laying upon the sea’s surface avid reminders of yesterday’s tempest. So near, yet so far, Good old Murphy was at it again. No wind saw Gratis wallowing as she loped through the glassy oil like swells at 2 knots … Read More

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 10

gratisaustralisAustralia, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, Western Australia

What a night!!! Pummelled by squalls racing in from left right and centre, bringing with them gusts of up to 36 knots. Neptune attempted to throw his best at us as his seas continued to build, and belongings crashed and rattled, whilst cracks as loud as Thor’s almighty roar reverberated throughout the yacht. Little sleep for either of us, how … Read More

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 9

gratisaustralisAustralia, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, Western Australia

0800, 305.5nm remaining of the journey: a Tuesday morning arrival was imminent at this stage. Seas were still 1½ – 2 metres, with minute amounts of white foam atop in places. In order to make the ride smoother, Bob altered the course to a heading of SW across the southerly swells, thereby placing the SE sets behind. As the sun … Read More

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 7

gratisaustralisAustralia, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, Western Australia

Awaking for my 3am shift, Bob informed me the bowed starboard whisker pole (the one bent on the first night out) had become a boomerang. Almost disbelieving, I turned on the floodlights and peered out. It surely was!!!!! As a result of the colossal pressure now being exerted upon it, we furled the Gennie, unhitched the pole and continued with … Read More

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 6

gratisaustralisAustralia, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, Western Australia

The wind died by 5 knots: seemingly not a lot, but enough to cause yet another sail change! Grrrrrrr………!!! I received a bit of a shock on peering out the starboard pilot house window this particular morning. Roughly a mile from us, in between the swells was a 200 metre long oil tanker quietly sliding past. During the night hours, … Read More

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 3

gratisaustralisAustralia, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, Western Australia

Farewell sun! Grey overcast skies greeted us this particular morning. Clouds drifted lazily across the heavens, seemingly only metres off the waters. This was a day of watching for squalls and waiting for the predicted wind shift, whilst the Cuvier Basin was traversed. Another day of drama, although not to do with Gratis. The first was related to Bob executing … Read More

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 1

gratisaustralisAustralia, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, Western Australia

05:20, we arose to tranquil waters, a 15 knot breeze and the chill air of winter brushing our rosy warm cheeks. After long months of final preparation, that long awaited day had arrived: Cocos, here we come!!!!! Last minute chores completed, many of our Carnarvon friends visited for a last minute natter: there was no saying how long it would … Read More

Indian Ocean Crossing the Hard Way versus the ‘Milk Run’

gratisaustralisAustralia, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, Western Australia

Thanks to Somalian pirates the traditional and much easier northern ‘Milk Run’ route through south East Asia, India and the Suez Canal is no longer an option, and it was armed with this foreknowledge on the possible conditions to be faced that we commenced our first Oceanic crossing. For many geographical and climatic reasons, the Indian Ocean is one of … Read More

A Regatta Race

gratisaustralisAustralia, Western Australia

There was fun for all at the CYC Regatta on the weekend. We trialed the new Go – Pro taped to the top of our Cherub’s mast. The result was simply amazing. We had Gratis up on the slip for hull cleaning, spot anti – fouling and adjusting the prop yesterday.

Out to Catch a Fish or Two

gratisaustralisAustralia, Western Australia

My parents are up and we are enjoying some relaxing moments exploring the region with them. Sunday saw us heading out in Gratis to a spot favoured by the Carnarvonites and this was the result. Three ‘big Mammas’ in the bag! Dad caught his first ever edible salt water fish and these were the largest I have managed – besides … Read More