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
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
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
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
A week since our departure from Carnarvon: how the time had flown. A cold front that passed by down south caused the winds to freshen and become southerly. This increase in wind speed, enabled the sails to fully fill, thereby providing us with not only a faster sail but a much smoother ride inside Gratis. With 20 – 25 knot … Read More
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
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
Barometer 1017, temperature 25 degrees, we were officially over the 20 degree line. 778 nm covered, 450 remaining!! An uneventful day’s sail.
08:40 and we were now parallel with North West Cape, Australia. As a rain squall passed across the bow some distance ahead, Bob steered a course to the west in order to avoid confrontation. The sea temperature had risen to 25.5 degrees: what a difference to the 17 degrees in Carnarvon. With the warmer air, our woollies were packed away … Read More
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
122nm covered, morning now upon us, down came the twins and into the bag they were stowed. With only one good 6.5m pole we could no longer fly them. It was time to reorganise the sail set up. Although slightly bent, Bob decided the starboard twin’s pole would still be fine for holding the smaller of the sails. Staysail once … Read More
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
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
The dock has arrived. It looks like Saturday will be the day for our departure.
The satellite phone dock is on its way back and should be here by the end of next week. It looks like our departure date may be next weekend at the latest – touchwood!
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.
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
What a perfect evening! Gentle breeze, dolphins hunting, fish a leaping, egrets feeding. Water ‘cold’, but refreshing for swimming in. The strengthener for the bowsprit is now installed. A good day’s work.
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