Category Archive

Time for a laugh

Sheets are now reattached to the Genoa, AIS wired, and more. Beginning to watch the weather in much greater detail. As soon as I am well, off to Rodrigues we head. A tale for a laugh from yesterday:

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 12

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 […]

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 11

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 […]

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 10

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 […]

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 9

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 […]

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 8

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. […]

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 7

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 […]

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 6

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 […]

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 5

Barometer 1017, temperature 25 degrees, we were officially over the 20 degree line. 778 nm covered, 450 remaining!! An uneventful day’s sail.

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 4

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, […]

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 3

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 […]

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands Day 2

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 […]

Carnarvon to Cocos Keeling Islands, Day 1

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 […]

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

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 […]

The Making of Perfect Yacht Tender

New page on the blog. Making the Perfect Yacht Tender

Boat Preparations

Bob was up the mast this morning reattaching the repaired wind vane, changing the light globes to LED and carrying out a check of all attachments as he went. Items are gradually being stored away, and I commenced making the first of our snacks for the journey to Cocos Keeling.

The Preparations Commence

It was the day to commence collating our food supplies once again. For a while there this afternoon, Gratis looked as though a bomb had ripped through her. The mattress filled the galley area, whilst food packages were spread across the floor and bed base. By 1700, the initial rearranging of supplies was completed and […]

The Asymmetric Spinnaker

Two days of total calm: what a luxury!! The Fascine is a millpool. Yesterday was the perfect time to trial the Asymmetric Spinnaker. What a beauty in her red, white and blue!