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!
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.
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.
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.
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.