Saturday, 22 December 2012


Just coming back from our required 24 hour passage......Tired.

Before we left Sydney Harbor we had to drop our head and mainsail and get the storm sails up with our mast tied down. We had it all done in about 5 min. A very good time.

Our training and drill paid off.

This passage is not a race. It is just an requirement that the crew has done this 24 hours passage before we start our Sydney - Hobart race and we could use the time to do some night work/training on the boat. We set course north with a light breeze and we could fly again our asymmetric spinnaker.

The wind died down almost completely in the afternoon the next day. I hope the race will give us more challenging winds. AND, the weather forecast is promising, at least for the first day of the race we expect around 35 kt.

Later we started to split up the shifts and from now on it was shiftwork as it will be in the race itself. With so many people on the boat everything has to be organized. And the boat is packed as you can see in the pic. 

Our life-vests with some of our wet gear. Confusing isn't it?

When we go to sleep and our wake up is at night then it is a good idea to get the night gear ready before going to sleep. We better have our head torch and our beanie and an additional layer of cloth handy. That helps a lot and speeds up the time after wake up. 
At night things are different. Every move and every action should be planned in advance and If we go for a sail chance to the bow we have a short briefing to make sure everyone knows what to do.

And we have been happy with the outcome. Still not perfect and still far away from the speed of a professional crew but for this short time of preparation we did not bad at all. 

The bow and mast crew should know in advance where they need to move. We are attached to the stay jack with our life lines and there are ropes and sheets everywhere. Proper planning is necessary if you want to work efficient on the deck. Exciting and challenging.

Each shift did some sail changes and spinnaker hoists and also reefing in and out of the mainsail. 

 The forward cabin. Here the storage room for 6 crew members.

Idle time on the rail in light winds  ( Brandon, Henry, Pete and Peter the young)

Brandon walking through the saloon

In the morning the wind dropped down to less then 10 kt. We did again fly our asymmetric spinnaker and made around 6 to 7n kt speed. 

Then we got some company:

A small group of Dolphins was joining us for a few minutes 

See the 2 short videos

The other shift saw 3 sharks close to the boat. Probably bull sharks. It is soooo nice to have company when you are alone in the open water.

Great news!!!!! 

A reporter from ABC television is joining us on the race. He has already installed a camera on Arctos and he will try to send some pics and videos to ABC while racing. I'll pass you the link when I have it. Welcome on board Mark.


Today I'll introduce you to our 2 girls on board

Emily from England, Brendons wife, lives in Melbourne and they will soon move to Christchurch. In Melbourne they both have done extensive sailing and regattas to prepare for the big one. 

Hasn't she a lovely smile.

Kirsty from England has already amazing experience. She did the Fastnet, the round Britain and Ireland race (3 weeks offshore in one go) and was on the clipper around the word race. She is almost finished with her Yachtmaster offshore certificate. 

Good luck to you Kirsty.

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