d'Albora's Action Project: AUS 360 Blog Update
Presented by Pivotel
Good evening All,
Welcome to the roller coaster ride. Since yesterday afternoon the winds were quite light blowing at a nice 15 knots from the west allowing me to get some Southerly direction in on my course. It was the annoying speed that was too light for my smaller J3 sail but also blowing too hard for my larger J1 sail so after umming and ahhing about it for well over an hour at sunset I decided to play it safe and keep the J3 sail up. I was aware that more winds were due to arrive in the night and I didn't wish to risk blowing out my J1 sail as I will likely still need this before this trip is over.
So I was sailing South-Southwest under full mainsail and the J3 as the winds continued to fill in. By 10 pm I was getting 20-25 knots of wind and Climate Action Now was rounding up in the weather so my course was all over the place. I went on deck and put the 1st reef in to balance the boat better and kept sailing SSW.
The winds were expected to back a touch and start blowing in from the SW and I was planning on tacking then and sailing WNW but I still wanted to get as far South as I could before that happened. I ended up being able to sail within 8nm of an Oil Rig before the winds came around too much for me to stay on that tack. I couldn't see the Oil Rig just a glow of light on the horizon, however, there was a ship drifting to the North of it waiting its turn and I could clearly see them. It was midnight by this time and the swell was now well over 3 meters and steep making it for a hell of a ride crashing off the backs of the waves so I can't imagine that the ship's crew were having much fun either.
I finally tacked the boat but I was now punching almost directly into that swell and the winds were now starting to touch 30 knots so I decided to make things a little more comfortable and crack the sheets a touch and sail a wind angle of 40 degrees rather than 30 degrees and with a combination of lowing the traveller and easing the sheets I was able to make it liveable. It was finally 1 am by the time the boat was settled for the night and I was able to get some sleep. I was now sailing due west and even though we still crashed off waves often I was somehow still able to get a good nights sleep.
Last night was also the first night where I felt a little cold in weeks. It might have had something to do with the fact that I cope a few waves in the face while I was on deck but I actually put on a long-sleeved T-shirt (shock horror I know!) and even put a sheet over me while sleeping. It was the first time since I sailed into the Great Barrier Reef that I could tolerate anything covering me. When I awoke this morning it was back to being hot again and I kicked it all off again.
For most of today, the conditions have been the same and I am still sailing west but the winds have eased to 20 knots so it is a little more livable on-board and now that I have sailed off the Continental shelf and into deeper waters the swell is a little more manageable as well. The plan is to keep sailing W tonight and then hopefully tack S tomorrow and make my way to the North West Cape.
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