Dodging and Surfing!

We have got a little further north since our last post: to Swansea on Monday and Port Stephens on Wednesday. We managed to avoid some of the rain, dodge the whales and did not see any containers. But we did see some nice waves and Take It Easy surfed a few!

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Serious swell just out of Pittwater
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Wade ties back the jib

What became very obvious was how difficult it is to spot anything on a grey day in 2 to 3 meter seas, and how tiring it is to be on constant watch. And it did not help that we had to handsteer, as George, the autopilot, was doing a pathetic job of holding us straight downwind. He was a bit sick… another thing to fix!

The positive though was that we had a good run. Monday, under threatening skies, we fully expected to get drenched by the rain, but Take It Easy stayed in this little hole of clear weather going up the coast, and surfed a few waves on the way with spectacular effect.

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Surfing over! The wave has overtaken us.

Tuesday it rained incessantly so we stayed put at Swansea. Don’t really like sailing in the rain, especially when you have to keep an eagle eye out for containers!

We took our chances on Wednesday, and ventured out in a light southwest. We wanted to move on, face our container demons and get that part of the trip over and done with. We kept a constant watch and motor-sailed to Port Stephens. They were the kind of tail wind conditions that would have been perfect for Big O, except that a big orange spinnaker in front of us is not exactly what you want when you are on the look out for floating hazards.

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Lumpy and rainy off Stockton Bight

We had to put up with frequent rain showers, but the visibility was reasonable and the sea state calmer than on Monday, although still lumpy. We got into Nelson Bay unscathed by early afternoon. No container sighted, but plenty of debris off Fingal Head – mainly neoprene and polystyrene.

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Soggy arrival at Port Stephens

And now we wait for the conditions to make the next hop, likely to be on Saturday. We will be here for a couple of days, while the northerlies blow.

17 thoughts on “Dodging and Surfing!

  1. Slowly but steadily!… that’s the name of the game now, Chris. Take care my dear. 🙂

  2. Glad you missed the whales and the containers. Ship owners say they will pay for the cleanup, let’s hope they are true to their word. The heaps of plastic is not good for the whales and other creatures. Yuk, we need to reduce this stuff esp the packaging

    • Hi Sue, yes they have started the clean up a Fingal Bay where there is a lot of rubbish not just on the beach but a few miles out. Looking forward to the program ‘war on waste’ starting again as it inspires people to do their bit.

  3. I am not too keen on the swell, although hard to avoid. Empathise with waiting for the northerlies…we are stuck due to a different set. Travel safely. xxx

    • We don’t like big swell, we don’t like night sails, we don’t like sailing in the rain… something has to give when the southerlies blow! We are enjoying Port Stephens for a couple of sunny days. Where are you now?

      • Port Stephens is lovely. We too had to make a choice against a’prefer not to’ when locals told us not to go in to Venus Bay on a 2-3m swell. We did an overnight ‘motor’ and are currently anchored off the township of Coffin Bay.

  4. Surfing with your cat must have been fun! I remember ‘sort of surfing’ my last mono, a 34’er, but it never stayed on the wave for very long ….. sailing round the containers, bit like flying your paragliders around cu nims blindfolded! Safe travels!

    • Hi Elgar – the paragliding image fits well… in fact I was thinking of paragliding in cloud suck the other day as we were keeping a keen watch on what was ahead and wondered about container suck! One sucks you up, the other sucks you down! 😊 At least we are hopefully through the worst of the risky area.

      • You can I think go with the ‘big ocean’ theory, an awful lot of water ratio to the tiny little containers. Same as the ‘big sky’ theory, so much sky, what are the odds of flying your pg into a plane? Still, I reckon keeping the grab bag handy is a good idea 😉

      • That and the amount of floatation and collision protection built into the Easy cats although we’d rather not test the theory!

  5. You are winning slowly, it is not a race so go with care, will catch up with you one day, cheers

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