Sunday, 25th June 2006 (0800 hrs)
Hope you enjoyed the photos. Did you find ‘Dog’ in any of them? That was for the young, and young at heart. Let us know if it brought a smile to your lips.
Well, it’s true what they say about cruising. It is going to exotic places to work on your boat! Doesn’t matter if you’ve got a new boat or an old one, there is always something to fix and/or maintain. The day before we left Brisbane the portside water tank sprang a leak, and as the person who could fix it lives in Maroochydore we made Mooloolabah our first stop. An easy day sail (7 hours).
When we left Mooloolabah, the conditions weren’t right for crossing the bar, so we sailed non stop up the outside of Fraser Island. We averaged 6.5 knots, with a maximum speed of over 15 knots, and arrived at a welcoming CID Harbour in the Whitsundays in just over 3 days. The first couple of days/nights were the hardest as we were going cold turkey straight into serious sailing mode. However, we managed better than I’d expected, and seasickness wasn’t that bad either. We did 2 hours on, and 2 hours off, the first couple of nights, which worked well, and then we pushed it up to 3 hours.
The sailing was awesome. We are very happy with the boat and are looking forward to more cruising in her. Down wind sailing is very comfortable in our Lightwave cat. We think it quite decadent being able to stand up while drinking from a mug, holding it with BOTH hands, and doing over 9 knots with 360 degree views of the world. Neither of us has any bruises! Amazing.
Terry discovered that the boat sails really nicely downwind in 20 knots true with 2 reefs in the main and the jib tied out to windward (winging it). This was quite by accident because the first reef went in when we lost the outhaul shackle, and the second reef went in when we broke the first reefing line. Then of course the boat was out of balance for the screecher, so it went away and the jib came out. We didn’t lose any speed but the ride became more comfortable. Perfect really. It’s all a learning curve, and one that Terry realises he’s got to go through after sailing a mono for so many years.
Although we were both tired once we arrived at CID Harbour we didn’t feel like something the cat dragged in, which is how we’d have felt after sailing over 3 days on a mono. The best bit of course was being able to have a proper shower whilst underway. What a revitaliser. You don’t realise that having a shower is one of life’s little luxuries until you’ve been without for a couple of days. Pure pleasure.
In the Whitsundays Terry decided to do a few jobs on the boat (as he does), which means the boat turns into a workshop. On a keel boat this meant I’d have to move because I’d usually be sitting on the tool locker. Then the tools would be spread all over the floor where we walked because there was no where else to put them. So, any time you wanted to get from one end of the boat to the other you’d be stepping over a mine field of tools and boat bits! Fortunately, on ‘Ridgee Didge’ things are pleasantly different because there is so much more space. Of course, the boat still LOOKS like a workshop, but at least there is plenty of room to move.
Next thing, Terry discovered that the water maker wasn’t working (this will make fresh water from salt when it’s working). We’d replaced everything but the vane pump after last year’s little exercise and of course this is what was letting us down now. Terry did a run in the dinghy to where he could get phone reception and ordered the part to be sent to Airlie Beach Post Office, which we picked up the following day only to discover after he put it in that there was a water leak. Next stop, Cairns to find some ‘o’ rings to fix the leak (which we eventually did yesterday after walking from one end of town to the other. We certainly got our exercise that day), and the Cairns Post Office (Monday’s job) to collect the main track slides we’d ordered up from Brisbane. We seem to be Post Office hopping at the moment, lol.
Had an overnight stop at Dunk Island before arriving at Cairns, where we were treated to a wonderful roast dinner on ‘Margaritaville’ by Paul and Jeannie Osborne who sailed over from Tully especially to see us. We felt thoroughly spoilt. Thanks guys.
The only time I’ve been worried on the boat so far was during the trip from Airlie to Cairns when we slid down a 3 metre wave sideways at night, doing about 14 knots. The draws in the galley slid open and I jumped out of my seat. Not funny, Jan. Took a while for the old heart rate to return to normal after that one, but there was no danger really. As my father used to tell me,