d'Albora's Action Project: AUS 360 Blog Update

Presented by Pivotel

Good evening all,

Another night of light winds.  Last night the winds managed to maintain around 5-6 knots and as I was sailing into this I was able to create a good apparent wind of 10 knots which was enough to keep me moving at 4-5 knots throughout the night.  I was tossing up my options with navigation as I have the edge of the Great Barrier Reef which I need to sail around and then just next to it is another small outcropping of reef.  This other outcropping is about 35nm from the Great Barrier Reef.  My initial plan had been to sail directly between the two as this would give me the shortest distance to sail however the wind gods had other ideas making it difficult to make the NW heading that I needed.  At around 11pm last night I was just coming up on that outcropping of reef and needed to make a decision of if I was going to tack and spent the rest of the night tacking between this reef and the Great Barrier Reef or if I just eased sails and changed my heading 10 degrees I would be able to sail right around the outside with no tacking required...

I ended up going with option 2 and sailing around the outside so I was now sailing between this reef that was 20nm long and a main shipping highway at sea.  The winds were kind until the early morning and I was able to sail most of the way up the reef through the remainder of the night.  At sunrise the winds shifted and forced me to sail NE before tacking back to the west.  I ended up getting close enough with a car carrier that I could see the rust marks in the paint... Needless to say I was awake and on deck during this time.

Once the ship had passed and I was safe to tack back I put the final tack in and sailed around the top edge of this reef.  Its a little bit mind blowing as the seas are so calm at the moment with only a ripple of breeze that you simply can not see the reef at all.  There was one Cay Tower mark at the Northern End and even this was extremely hard to spot.  You simply have to react on what the charts are telling you.  I do however build a very large margin of error into my navigation and tend not to come any closer than 5nm to any new hazard so this might also be why it was a little difficult to spot.

Given that I only managed a few hours sleep I decided to try and get some more rest but it was too late.  I was already awake...  So instead I tried to rest my body and simply laid in bed and read my book whist keeping one eye on the navigation.  I am an avid book reader at home and at sea and this is mostly how I fill my days between boat jobs.  At the moment I am reading a really trashy fantasy book and its just the story I need to fill my mind when I need a break from the boat.

I also did a little cooking.  Not that my on-board chef skills are anything great but I whipped up some Lisa special toasted thingies....  Basically a wrap with chilly sauce, cheese and baked beans grilled in the frypan to melt the cheese....  Mmmm delicious.  I made three of them however after not eating much for the last few days I needed to donate one to Neptune as I was so full.  Maybe he likes Baked Beans...

Anyway everything is going good on-board and I will be kept busy with a few different maintenance jobs around but we are moving in the right direction even if it is slowly. 

Thanks to the following Sponsors for all their continued support: d’Albora Marinas, Pivotel  B&G, Australian Geographic, Zhik , Park Fuels, Karver, 3M, White Bay 6 Marine Park, and Great Circle Life Raft