This is it, the Take It Easy crew has left the Gippsland Lakes, bound for Tin Can Bay in Queensland, some 900 nautical miles North! For Wade it is an exciting mission. For crew, Mike & Merv, it will be a thrilling experience, as for Bengie the ship’s cat…well, it’s better than “jail”!
This is not a leisurely cruise, but a delivery trip… which means the team will be sailing hard day and night, 2 hours on, 4 hours off, non stop unless they get contrary weather. In winter, the predominant winds are SE along the East Coast, so it is the ideal time to head up North. We are all praying for steady tail winds all the way – nothing too strong or scary, with maybe a couple of short bouts of northerlies for a small rest along the way.
But first things first: crossing the infamous Lakes Entrance bar! The swell was heavy on Friday afternoon with breakers all the way across. The bar was not passable so an overnight stay at the Flagstaff Jetty, just next to the Entrance, was called for. We all had to wait until 11.30am on a very cold Saturday morning and still it was a very lumpy exit.
It did not take them long to raise Big Red, the spinnaker! They should get a steady sail, initially in 10-15 Westerlies, then WSW as they turn the corner and start heading north. It’s always good to “get around the corner!” But they will probably get stuck in Bermagui for a while since Northerlies are forecast to blow for a few days from Sunday night. At least they are now underway as evidenced by the Marine Traffic tracking at 7.00pm on Saturday just past Cape Conran!
I will keep you posted on their progress every few days, and relay some of their experiences. Don’t expect photos, that’s not Wade’s forte, but there are sure to be a few tales to relate!
For those interested, you can follow the boat on http://www.marinetraffic.com You have to set up an account (which is free and just means providing your email). You can then set up your ‘fleet’ so you only track the boats you want and enter our vessel’s name in upper case – you guessed it: TAKE IT EASY! After that, the guys can’t hide; we know where they are, whether they are moving, at what speed and in which direction!