Blog post 1 by Jon Sanders. Day 1: 10th Circumnavigation.
I hope no one reads this, because if it were not for everyone else, I would not have left when I did. Beautiful people. (They were so).
400 years ago a bloke, (I mean a brave Dutch ship’s captain) steered his ship to the lower north coast of Western Australia. Thus, discovering it.…
Then they could not accurately determine longitude. (No accurate time pieces available or made).
They were on their way to Batavia in the Dutch spice islands, now Indonesia.
Anyway, they discovered Dirk Hartog Island Shark Bay, Western Australia. Nearly 500 nautical miles north of the State Capital of Western Australia. Perth.
Perth is 1.3 million population.
To celebrate is a yacht race to Dirk Hartog Island, actually, finishes at Denham Shark Bay.
The race is in two legs. 1st leg Fremantle (the port of Perth) to Geraldton: a midwest town. The 2nd and last leg, Geraldton to Denham Shark Bay. An isolated region.
Normally, a downwind a downwind race. Often windy. Well very windy. It is a windy coast. It is a bummer for those who need to hurry back. The wind and waves are against the Leeuwin Current. “Slog it out” to say the least. Get splashed too. You get that.
Who wants to do that? I am not that stupid. So, I will just go west with the trade winds to Africa. (South Africa via Reunion Island), which is French. Reunion that is. Population 800,000
Cyclone season starts November in the Indian Ocean. Specially Mauritius & Reunion way. I guess I will see how things are cooking. May have to dodge Reunion and go direct to Cape Town.
Cyclones are called Cyclones because they are. Other parts of the world called hurricanes or typhoons. All Bit to breezy. “Drafty.
So that might be a little reason why I was keen to get going.
Four crew in all in the race. Vera Walby, a company secretary. Gareth Owen-Conway, top “IT” specialist for Chevron Australia. Robin Morritt, a retired mining owner and chief executive. Me.
After Denham I will be on my own.
A downwind slide does not exactly suit my yacht. Racing. It is better bashing into it. Built for it too. But who the heck wants to bash into it. Not me or my crew, (unless we have to)!
Did OK in the race. Got a good start. Enjoyed it all. Got some sort of minor, minor trophy. Tomorrow is a downwind slide with strong wind warning. My crew and I will probably not bother with a spinnaker, just reefed main and polled out the furling jib. I have a long, long way to go.
We will not thrash the yacht racing for sheep stations. (Because I am going to Africa and onwards and onwards)
It was a mild to moderate spinnaker run to begin. Freshened.
We arrived in Geraldton in a strong wind warning. Boat performed as expected. Good.
On a nice stainless steel support, at the stern of the yacht, is bolted a most beautiful whispering quietly Superwind– generator. All the way from Germany. It’s performance has been amazing! This is the first time ever I have sailed to Geraldton – 33 hours – overnight and not started the engine to charge the batteries.
Robin was nominated navigator, but he did not get much chance to do any at all because Gareth spotted the brand new, the absolute latest B&G Navigation electronics. He dived headlong into it. It was like some people driving their 1st Maserati. Good too, because his enthusiasm goes to instructing me; continuously if I let him.
The whole B&G display, including the outside displays, is unbelievable and incredible. Clear to read. Beautiful settings. Simple for this one to navigate. Truly wonderful!
Blog post 1: Day 2
I typed the above yesterday. Now is today. Bloody windy.
Not the best start this time. We tacked for the start line and the jib lead escaped and caused a windy flutter, i.e. tacky start. Not that it mattered.
Now on the downwind slide for Dirk Hartog Island – we must round, more than 200 nautical miles to the north.
A truly sparkling sea. Whitecaps. Turquoise colour. Later and now an azure colour.
We are sailing with a reef in the mainsail. And the no. 1 Genoa (front sail- I think) polled out. Good safe brisk progress. The crew like the brisk windy conditions. Rigged safely. Swell big. Good progress.
Kindest regards to all.
__ Jon Sanders __