On board are Wade, Chris and Bengie
Wade is the skipper and jack of all trades. That is what you become on a boat to stay out of mischief. He often says: “Cruising is the art of running minor repairs and maintenance in exotic places.” Wade is a safe, conservative, patient sailor, a good navigator and careful weatherman. His motto is “we are in it for fun not fright.” We don’t like to scare ourselves. We only go when the weather is right. Wade’s favourite thing is sails trimming. If he can extract a little more performance out of our sails, he fiddles with those strings!
Chris is the first mate, willing to do anything and everything as Wade’s right hand. As much as possible we share the running of the boat. We have a rule on board: both of us need to be capable of doing most things interchangeably. It is as much about safety as it is about enjoyment. We make a good team. Chris’s favourite thing is manoeuvring in and out of jetties, marinas and tight spots. Her motto is “proceed slowly into danger.” Well actually it’s “Avance tout doucement vers le danger” – she was born and grew up in France… For her sailing is about adventures, discovery and the opportunity to muse, dream, capture our experiences in writing or through the camera lens. She is a keen photographer and a published author.
And we must not forget Bengie, our ship’s cat, and a very talkative one at that. She is a Bengal, a striking leopard looking cat with bright green eyes. Bengals supposedly like water and happily jump in and swim. Bengie is somewhat of an exception! She does not mind the water, but from a distance, which is probably safer. Obsessions: butterflies and dragonflies. Naughtiest deed: climbing up anything and everything, including the mast. Favourite food: any, she could be mistaken for a Labrador. Favourite past time: hiding in bags, green bags, sail bags, rope bags (very tasty salty bits of string in there), shopping bags (sure to be food inside), and more bags. Favourite toy: bird feathers, preferably large ones like those of pelicans or cape barren geese. She also has the rare distinction of being a published author, having had two articles published in Cruising Helmsman: Cat on a Cat, and Weather forecasting and other ship’s cat jobs.
Sailing has been our passion for many years. We love the sea, we relish an adventure, we enjoy nature. The ocean, the seabirds and fascinating marine life, the pristine anchorages are an endless source of pleasure and we like sharing this with friends, either as they accompany us on our escapades or through our photography and chronicles.
Cruising is a mix of things for us: the joy of sailing, the excitement of exploring new destinations and revisiting favourite anchorages, the challenge of stretching the boundaries and learning along the way, the intense pleasure of reaching places less travelled, and the fun of meeting like-minded yachties. It was an absorbing past-time for many years, but now it is our life. We gave up work in July 2017 and live aboard full time.
34 thoughts on “About us”
This is a well presented web site. well done Chris
Pawesome to meet you all! Looking forward to following your adventures! Fair winds and fishy feasts!
Nice website. I was interested in your recent Multihul article about building your boat. We are currently building a Spirited 380 and into the 8000th hour. It is bloody hard work as you point out. Anyway, hope all goes well.
Thanks Allan, we have most definitely chosen the easy way in more ways than one. We take our hat off to you and other cat builders! When is the end in sight for you? Chris
I would like to nominate your wonderful blog for a Leibster award! It is a bit of fun, and you get some new people looking at your blog as a result. Here is a link with some more information. http://astrolabesailing.com/2014/09/25/another-award/
Oh wow, thanks Viki! 🙂 🙂 So what do we have to do? Just answer the questions you listed on a post?
Yes! You can then nominate other blogs you like. Here are the instructions I was given:
What you do on your website:
– Post a link to http://www.astrolabesailing.com, indicated as the person who nominated you.
– Answer the ten questions I posted for my nominees on my Liebster page
– Nominate up to ten sites you deem interesting.
– Set ten questions of your own, for your nominees to answer.
It is a bit of fun and a way of kindred sites to recommend one another! 🙂
what a wonderful life!!!
Hello again, Cybele… Yes it’s fun and we are not even on the boat full time yet (there is this work thing getting in the way)! Then we can really live the dream. Just imagine the photo opportunities! 🙂
You guys are living the life! Thank you for sharing the great adventures of sailing. Keep up the good job!
Hi Sanu, thanks for visiting!
Hi, Chris, I’ve been enjoying your posts and I wanted to drop a note and thank you for the Follow. I look forward to seeing more great stories like the recent sunrise sequence on Red Sky in the Morning.
Thank you so much Robyn… You know I actually followed you when Leanne Cole introduced you, but for some reason your address dropped out of my followers list. Your comment on Red Sky prompted me to re-subscribe . I enjoy your work! Chris
Your blog brings back memories. We sailed in the Eastern Med for several years. If you like our sailing adventures are on http://www.geriatrix.de.
For various reasons we changed to a “land boat” and enjoy now travelling in a camper van several times a year.
Thank you for sharing!
We have friends who have done a similar move from cat to van. It’s all about adventures!
We like both ways
Hi Chris and Wade. Congratulations on an excellent and inspirational site. I will be helping my brother in law deliver his DuFour 38 from Brisbane to Launceston early next year and we certainly intend checking out the bass strait islands and possibly port Davey at a later stage.
Your stories have fired me up to do more adventurous cruising on my little 7m Farrier Trimaran.
Fair winds and roll on that day when you can cast off without having to return to work.
Welcome aboard Graham! Do linger around the Bass Strait islands – they are wild and beautiful. Thanks for the follow and the kind words.
Give us a wave next time you pass us in Iluka Wendy Ann
Ah hello Seawind Wendy Ann, thanks for the website visit! Good place to hide in Iluka!
Hi SV Take it Easy. I saw you this morning on the Hastings. That was me that waved from my single scull. I was watching to see that you didn’t ground there on the junction of the two rivers. I gather you are a Seawind 1100. Let me know if you’d like to come ashore for a meal and a shower if you are here for a few days.
Hi Meredith – thanks for the very kind offer – we are visiting friends up river. We are an Easy 1160 cat, not a Seawind. Horrible weather but we are safer here than out in the ocean with the wind and rain forecast for the next few days! Chris and Wade
Hi Guys, We are also moored at Paynesville (On a swing mooring in Newlands Arm) and go past your boat all the time. Love the colour of your hull. Have always wondered when we would be there at the same time. We are a white Privilege – (currently unnamed but that is a whole other story) Look forward to meeting you soon. Natalie and Brad 🙂
Hi guys – have been doing some work on board and about to go. Going away for a bit. Back in September. See you some time… Thanks for visiting our site.
Safe travels. 🙂
A captain of cargo ship told me once .go slow on departing and arriving into ports.I learned from him .I reading, you guys do the same already very wise .bon voyage
Chris and wade – – the magazine cover shots look so fun – and this is quite an adventure life you two live – looking forward to connecting with your blog – and maybe get a little splash of the ocean through y’all.
Thanks for the visit! Vicarious sailing always welcome!
Can I ask you about Bengie the “cat on a cat.” We currently have a “cat on a mono” and the combination doesn’t work very well. Gimzo likes being on the boat at anchor but unfortunately he tends to suffer when things get even a little rough. So we have stoped taking him on the boat unless it is calm. Also, kitty litter trays are a PITA in a small head compartment. One of the many reasons for wanting a catamaran is that I expect them to be much better for our feline crewmate. But that is only a guess as we don’t have any experience with cats on cats. How does Bengie cope with rough weather?
Hi Tim, Bengie has been on boats since she was a kitten and has never been seasick. She is really used to life onboard. Catamarans would be easier for animals than monos, just like they are for people. It is much easier for them to move around, and generally more stable underway. There are noticeable graduations in Bengie’s behaviour depending on the weather conditions. When it is smooth and sunny, she likes to be out in the cockpit with us, often on the skipper’s chair or in one of the side open lockers if it is a bit cool. As things get lively, she moves into the saloon and snoozes on the settee, then if it gets rougher she goes on our bed, and under the doona when it’s too rocky. If she can’t see it, it’s not happening! She has her litter box in the head. Wade custom built it to fit between the hull and the toilet, so it’s out of our way. She also has a cat door so she can come in and out of the head and we can close the door. For exercise we play with her a fair bit and also have trained her to go in the dinghy so we can take her ashore on a lead. There are a couple of articles written in her voice. You will find them on the Published page of the website. One is called Weather Forecasting and other ship’s cat jobs, and the other is Cat on a Cat. There is also a link to a couple of posts https://wp.me/p4JBkN-3b6 and https://wp.me/s4JBkN-walkies
Hi, nice to meet you.
Good Afternoon, Looks like you’re having a great time in the Whitsundays. We met up in YE marina in Melbourne, our Boat is Rodscat 38ft Chamberlin cat.
We are looking at replacing our outboards, which are currently 20Hp Honda, as your boat is slightly larger than ours just wondering what sort of performance you get out of the Yamaha 9.9.
Fuel economy, average motoring speed on 1 and 2 motors.
Look forward to your feedback
Hi Rod, yes we remember Rodscat! We are not in the Whitsundays yet and probably won’t go there this winter! Just got to the Southern end of the GBR but can at last slow down a bit.
Your boat is the same size as ours -38ft. We weight 4.5 to 5 tons. If we run both engines at 4000 revs in calm water we do about 6.8 knots. One engine at 4000 revs we do 5 knots. Pushing sea and wind at 25 knots, both engines at 4000 revs, we do a measly 1.8 to 2.5 knots.
We use about 2l an hour per engine at 4000 revs.
We recently replaced our engines and the Yamaha dealer thought 1000 hours was a fair run for them, as they work pretty hard.
Hope that helps.