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Sat Mar 28 to Fri Apr 03

From John Friday April 3rd

Day 9, 10 & 11 from Melbourne at the CYCA Sydney - on board FGT Fri April 3 09
Position 33 52S 151 30E 0 n miles to Sydney.
Wind - not much - little bit of rain.
Boat speed av 0.0 kts. 0 rpm
Av boat direction- South tied up
Barometer 1030.1
cloud cover varies - 100% Air temp 25C 11am local time

Greetings from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Sydney,
Couple of days gone by quickly - that happens without comment in Sydney - Wed the rain kept us hanging about the yacht club with a venture up to the shops - Doug and Vilny took in a petrol head movie - Tom and Fraser crewed on the benny 47.7 Trieste for a twilight race with 54 other sailboats from the CYCA and reported 'good fun' with those blokes - thanks to the Triest crew. The Sm had a nice long chat to Graham and Maz Radford - designer of the FGT - and thanks for lunch.
Yesterday us culture vultures reported to the Powerhouse museum, and one half of the crew did over the Maritime museum, while the other half toured all over Sydney and Bondi on the explorer buses - excellent - Sydney Buses really do a firstclass job at v reasonable costs. A full day for all.
Right now we are splashing our way up to Pittwater - 12 miles up the coats from Sydney to wait for the Southerly winds expected tomorrow Saturday - then we intend to sail straight up the 230 or so miles to Coffs Harbour.
Beautiful weather today in Sydney - and what a spectacular place to visit.
Cheers
Your 'on the road, again' Crew
-----------------
From John Tuesday March 31st

Day 8 from Melbourne at the CYCA Sydney - on board FGT Tue 31 March 09
Position 33 52S 151 30E 0 n miles to Sydney.
Wind - some wind - lots of rain.
Boat speed av 0.0 kts. 0 rpm
Av boat direction- South tied up
Barometer 1030.6
cloud cover varies - 100% Air temp 21C 6pm local time

Greetings from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Sydney,
Where ever we go the great hospitality follows us - welcomed into the CYCA by Frank the Marina manager, and Maria - the charming lady at reception. V helpful and V welcoming.
The marina is chock a block with famous and fantastic sailboats - just the epicentre of ocean racing here, and the home of the Sydney - Hobart Yacht Race. Consequently we have been doing our fair share of ogling.
And we continued in the same vein during our tours about Sydney. Doug , Phil, and Vilny toured the nearby Kings Cross looking for breakfast which they reported as found and good, while the SM, Tom and Fraser, bussed into Circular Quay, for a harbour tour with Sydney Ferries - that was interesting if a little rainy - no complaints - back tothe CYCA for patio pizza, and an early night. The other guys met and dined with the offspring living here.
Weather remains inclement.
Cheers
Your tied up Crew
---------------------
From John Monday March 30th

Day 7 from Melbourne at sea on board FGT Mon 30 March 09
Position 33 52S 151 30E - 0 n miles to Sydney.
Wind 15 knots North Seas not too smooth.
Boat speed av 5.0 kts.2200 rpm
Av boat direction- 024 up the coast to Sydney -
Barometer 1030.0
cloud cover varies - 80% Air temp 21C 01200 utc

Greetings from the shore bound FGT,
Monday morning early - 7am - motor sailed right into Sydney- arrive at 12:10am Tuesday.
Nicely tied up at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia at Rushcutters Bay.
Most of the crew sleeping.
Looks good.
Now it's Tuesday morning. The fun continues.
Cheers
Your coastal cruising Crew
----------------------------------
From John Sunday March 29th

Day 6 from Melbourne at sea on board FGT Sun 29 March 09
Position 35 21S 150 30E - 95 n miles to Sydney.
Wind 25 knots North Seas bouncy.
Boat speed av 5.0 kts.2200 rpm
Av boat direction- 024 up the coast to Sydney -
Barometer 1032.0
cloud cover varies - 80% Air temp 21C 01200 utc

Greetings from the FGT,
Left Eden and splashed our way to Bermagui - wind right on the nose so not a v comfortable ride - ducked into Bermagui - a fishing and holiday town for a quiet nights snoozing on Sat night. Snuck out of town at 7am to miss the wind which has no sting in it until afternoon - that worked well until the afternoon when it was , once again, right on the nose, so Ulladulla was our port of choice for the night. Thomas and Fraser headed for the internet cafe while us blokes inspected the public bar of the U Hotel where we bought tickets in the Easter party platter. Can you send it to CH when we win? Absolutely - not a problem !! F&C dinner with wine just above the harbour - best F&C in Ulladulla.
Entertained boatside by Julie and Robert - v successful dive boat operators - these chance meetings are one of the best parts of cruising - the Canadian flag gets them every time.
Tomorrow -enroute to Sydney
Cheers
Your coastal cruising Crew
-------------------------------------
From John SATURDAY MARCH 28TH.


Day 5 from Melbourne at sea on board FGT Sat 28 March 09
Position 37 00S 149 58E 200 n miles to Sydney.
Wind 5 knots North Seas ripply - like Lake Ontario.
Boat speed av 6.5 kts.2200 rpm
Av boat direction- 024 up the coast to Sydney -
Barometer 1032.6
cloud cover varies - 80% Air temp 21C 0331 utc

Greetings from the FGT,
Sing this song - 'Here we are again, happy as can be, all good friends on board the Falcon GT.'
The new crew is enjoying the voyage from Melbourne up the East Australian coast to Coffs Harbour with some v pleasant stops on the way. - more of that later.
All the crew and especially the Senior Member have had quite the break from shipboard life after our arrival in Melbourne. The blog got a break too!

We had a wonderful reception at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria when we pulled in after the Apollo Bay 24 hr stop. More relatives and friends than you could shake a stick at, incl the SM and CEO's mum, and wives. Lines were taken by Tony Spencer the RYCV Commodore - quite an honour - and what fabulous hospitality they have shown us - so much we did not have time to accept the offer of hospitality at Docklands -Bob Tanner - please accept my apologies. And that is sort of what happened to the Sm when following the arrival. Being so focused on arriving - the details of the after-life were not considered - consequently - the rounds of dinners, parties, visitors, and visiting simply took up the time until just now - now I can reflect somewhat on the voyage and sum it up with 'glad I did it - just a little over the top'

The highlight of the stay in Melbourne was staying at my sister's Anne's and husband Ian's home - what can I say - they gave us the best of everything including my wife and 2 roast lamb dinners, - and Mum lives just 45 minutes walk away. Don't forget the 2 nights at the Lorne cottage with its resident koala bear, and the house trained kangaroo up the street. Australiana for us visitors.

Plans are to take the boat to CH, (Coffs Harbour), then back down to Port Stephens for storage until November.

We are on the way - with a new crew - Thomas, Fraser, Phil, Vilny, Doug (CEO) and the SM we left Williamstown 6am last Tuesday and pretty well motor sailed 24 hrs to Refuge Cove to anchor (third time in 16000 miles), swim, eat, snooze, for 12 hours, then sailed to Eden - 230 nm in 38 hrs - enjoyed some hours of spinnaker sailing in a building Westerly . The wind did build nicely - peaked around 35 knots and stayed between 20 and 30 for a good 24 hours.
Eden is a busy abalone diving and decent size fishing boat port so lots of boats to check out. Pub dinner at the Great Southern Hotel to celebrate Vilny's birthday, then a quiet night for some on board. Left for Sydney at 10am. T and F what did you do last night?
Cheers
Your coastal cruising Crew

Saturday March 14th...



We hope you enjoy the video's.
Click the play button to view.

Wed. March 4th storm
Beaufort Scale 11
winds g 58 knots
waves up to 40ft.
Stu at the helm
Filmed by Doug Sandrin
seated at the base of the mast,
wedged between the mast and the "sissy bars"
tethered and wearing his life jacket of course.



March 4th Approaching Apollo Bay,
led by a school of Dolphin
Filmed by Doug Sandrin


Feb. 4th

Dancing water and clothes
during a rocky ride
on the Southern Ocean
Filmed by Doug Sandrin




John at the helm of Falcon GT
March 4th storm
boat speeds up to 22.5 knots
Filmed by Doug Sandrin
from the viewpoint at the base of the mast
----------------------

Monday March 9th

From Doug S.


Here I sit at 33,000 ft coming up to the Equator and International date line. We (Stu and I) are 5200 miles from Vancouver and 2600 out of Sydney. It's taken all of 4 1/2 hours to get here. At our average speed of 5.5 knots during the ocean trip, that would have been at least a 20 day sail! (Still over 8.5 hours to go and we are doing 590 mph over the ground). A bit of a contrast!
So, let's go back to last Thursday. ...
5/3 Dolphins leading us into Apollo Bay

5/3 Apollo Bay
We left Apollo Bay before dark and had all night to make our way to Port Phillip Bay for dawn and slack tide. We had 2 person watches because of all the shipping. Just had the #2 jib up as there was still wind, and we had plenty of time. I stayed up most of the night either on watch or writing up the previous days blog. When I did sleep, Stu and Doug G had a close encounter with a ship near the pilot drop off point just outside “The Heads”. No paint swapped but gave the boys something to talk about!
6/3 Dawn at Point Lonsdale Lighthouse
Through “The Heads” at cloudy daybreak. Heard we were being watched on the web cams and Munie (John & Doug's sister) and her husband, Mark were at the Point Longsdale lighthouse waving. I'm afraid we missed them as we were so focused on going through the middle of the channel, looking at all the sights as well as plotting a coarse to the western channel. Lots of shoals and sandbars in the south end of the bay so had to be between the buoys. Very big bay, couldn't see either side at one point.
John talks on ABC radio.
Soon to arrive in Williamstown!

6/3 Sea Birds on West Channel Lighthouse

Passed a small lighthouse and then out of the channel into about 80ft of water. Last bit of open water for about an hour and then into the river. Passed a few jetties, and there was the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria.

6/3 Falcon GT arrives at Williamstown
photo. taken by Andrew MacKinnon

6/3 Brendan prepares to open gift of champagne
from BMO co-workers to celebrate arrival in Australia

A crowd of people gathered on the outermost finger.

John jumps off the boat to greet his wife, Jeannette

Everyone helped to tie up the boat. I rushed down and sent a quick message to Audrey giving her our position and time of arrival. Lots of people came on board, so I stayed below to answer questions and give little tours.

Later on we were all off to Anne's, (John and Doug's sister) and her husband Ian's house where we had a magnificent BBQ, lots of refreshments and celebrations, with wonderful people.

Next day was a busy one as the 3 Canadians packed up their sailing gear and excess clothes (we'd all brought too much), to be shipped home. The office closed at noon being a Saturday, so it was an early start. Then it was off to an internet place to book tickets and arrange transport home for Stu and I on Monday.

Later that afternoon we enjoyed a walk through a Botanical gardens. Then a delicious dinner in downtown Melbourne with all the Gayford siblings and spouses. Another fun and noisy evening!
Sunday I had a bunch of computer work to do, copying all the pictures and videos for everyone. Also finishing a 1/2 hour slide and video show. Curious people where wandering up to the boat all day, asking questions, chatting and having a look around.

Monday was an early morning for us boat people as Stu and I got up at 0400 to catch a cab for the airport, Brendan woke up to say goodbye. Flew Quantas to Sydney where we connected to good ol' Air Canada for the 13 1/2 hour flight to Vancouver.

And that's where we are just about now. I started this back in the southern and eastern hemispheres at 33000 ft. Now we're in the northern and western. No mention this time when we crossed the lines. We did get up to 39 but are now at 27 and just about to land. Canadian customs, then the lovely walk (sarcasm) through YVR airport. Get back on the same plane for a 4 1/2 hour flight home. And that will be it for the great adventure!
Actually I never finished this on the plane. We left Vancouver on time but because of about an inch of snow had a 2 hour delay because of de-icing. (Welcome to Canada)! Finally got to YYZ after 1800 and were met by our lovely wives who barely recognized us. ( Me with my beard still intact and Stu sporting his new lean look!)

Thank you to all the people who have written to us through the guest book and especially to all my friends and family who have been in touch with me throughout the trip! ;-) . I've enjoyed hearing from everyone.

Also a thanks to all the people who have contributed to the Canadian Cancer Society. Lets hope it makes a difference!

Thank you to FBYC (False Bay Yacht Club), Simon's Town Marina and all the people there for making our stay a highlight of the trip! ;-)

A Big Thank you to John for letting me help him through six years of the construction and the four 1/2 month voyage of the Falcon GT. It was a trip of a lifetime. The boat handled and held up better than I ever would have imagined with the very rough conditions we encountered. John had prepared and outfitted the boat so well that I never had an anxious moment or worry.

Thanks to the rest of the crew who made the trip so enjoyable with their knowledge, seamanship, cooking skills and friendship. A better crew could not be found!!

Most of all I'd like to thank my Wife , Audrey, who has done so much keeping the web site up to date and looking great! Giving us news, weather, and port information. And putting all her support behind this trip so I didn't feel too guilty about leaving her for all these months.
The website will not be updated as often anymore, but as we hear from John we will show the Falcon's position. Also as Audrey and I go through all crew's photos and videos, (hundreds), some of the best will show up on the website. This will take a while. If you're interested, please check back once a week or so for updates.

Now I get to look forward to going back to work on Saturday. Almost makes me wish I was back on the boat just before the storm! Almost........
Cheers. Doug S.

Entire Route on Falcon's Chart Plotter.

ARRIVAL DAY

FIRST PICTURES OF ARRIVAL IN
WILLIAMSTOWN AUSTRALIA
(Many thanks to Bernie Fox for sending us these pictures)

Out of the shipping channel,
arriving about to swing alongside the pier
photo by Bernie Fox

Doug G and Stu shake hands arriving just off the pier
about to tie up alongside
John at the helm, son Thomas alongside
Doug S preparing the ropes
Brendan shooting video
Photo. by Bernie Fox

Another picture of Friday's arrival.
Brendan, Doug S, Thomas and his dad, John
Photo by Bernie Fox


First Line Cast at Arrival
Photo by Bernie Fox

"WE MADE IT!"
One very HAPPY crew!
Doug Gayford, John Gayford,
Brendan Shadford, Stuart Hamilton
Doug Sandrin

WELCOME TO AUSTRALIA!!

ARRIVAL IN WILLIAMSTOWN IS OFFICIAL!!!

FRIDAY MARCH 6th 14:14 MELBOURNE TIME
(THURSDAY MARCH 5th 22:14 Canadian EDT)

TIME TO CELEBRATE!!!
----------------------------------
Congratulations!!!!
JOHN, DOUG G.
BRENDAN,
DOUG S. STUART

What an amazing accomplishment!
Who could have imagined six long years ago
that this day would arrive?
John Gayford that's who!
He had a dream, a plan and a goal!

To all the crew, John, Doug G., Brendan, Stuart and Doug S.
we congratulate you on a successful and brave adventure.
We are all very proud of your courage and determination.
You wished for wind and Mother Nature certainly delivered!

MEN WHO PUT DREAMS INTO REALITY
ARE DANGEROUS
FOLLOW THEM!
-------

Many thanks to everyone who was there to help, encourage and give support during the rough times and share the good times.
The crew are truly grateful to all of you.
To all who have enjoyed reading the daily blog
and who have sent encouraging emails to all the crew, thank you.
Your messages kept the guys motivated
and close to home every day.
Stay tuned over the coming days for updates, more photo's, video's and messages!
Many of the congratulatory e-mails are being posted in the
GUEST BOOK

Our best to all who are still out there,
we will now look for news from you and pray for your safe passages.
-------------------------------------
Friday's approach....

09:30 Mel./ 17:30 Canada EDT
Just leaving the West channel
right by the white light house (camera 4)
moving into deeper water.
Motor sailing at 5 knots.
Weather cloudy, showers.
John spoke on ABC RADIO LIVE STREAM
---------------------------
07:51 mel. 20:51 utc
GOING IN THROUGH THE HEADS TO PHILLIP BAY

just a speck in the middle of the picture
but we can all imagine the smiling faces on board
especially for John as he approaches his homeland
where he has dreamed of sailing his own boat
for years.

Day 117 at sea & Details of Day 116's storm

Day 117 (day 48 from SA) at sea on board FGT Thu 5 March 09
Position 38 45S 143 40E 100 Albatross miles to Melbourne.
Wind 18 to who cares knots
Sea state - who cares. Quiet.
Boat speed av zip kts.
Av boat direction- 90 - on the highway.-
Barometer 1026.6
cloud cover varies 0 - 80% Air temp 16C

Greetings from Apollo Bay Pier on the FGT,

Here we are waiting for departure time at 5pm.
So what to do? Pretty easy -first solid sleep, then wake up, scratch etc, coffee, 15 minute walk into town , breakfast at the busiest cafe, making 9 new friends, reading newspapers, bs'ing ourselves , shopping for fresh food , back to the boat, Hello SM's Munie and Mark, and Sm's 19 yo son Thomas - the birthday boy. Who remembers when they were 19?
Fuel and water the boat, lunch at the pub, then amazing stuff, 2 old buds - Gary and Peter appear with beers for all! Haven't seen them years. More beers, back to the boat, visitors gracefully leave, and after consultations with Greg, Diedre, and Chris from Extravaganse 3 of the RYCV, we departed into the rain clouds.

Willy on Friday - 2pm!!!!! ( Thursday 10 p.m. Canada edt)
On on to Willy.

Cheers
Your 30,000 kilometer Crew
-------------------------------

From Doug S email later Thursday

(report about March 4th Wednesday's storm and update of present position):

I'm writing this Thursday March 5th 22:00 Melbourne time as we head for Williamstown. It's been a fast paced 48 hours. Woke up Wednesday to a lot of motion and wind noise. I'd slept through some pretty wild action. Woke up with some of my stuff laying on top of me that had been thrown off the shelves.

I went up to steer. Brendan told me that Stui had a wave break over the transom onto him and the boat broached. (Turned sharply up into the wind and leans way over ). That's what threw my stuff off the shelves. I am a deep sleeper!

Waves very big. During my 2 hour watch the wind gusted up to 54 knts. I caught a beauty of a wave at just the right angle and slid down at the best speed I'd had of the trip at 19.5 knots. Big waves coming up on the port stern corner. If you were a little to the left of course the wave would push the stern around and you would do a mini broach, with the starboard side rail touching the water. If you got the angle just right you'd have a great surf, with white water all around you and the sea roaring.

Winds were howling when over 45 knots, but quiet when surfing. It was exhilarating. You pay good money for fair ground rides that are this good. We just had the staysail up and the boat never felt out of control. After my shift I stayed up with John and video taped him. I walked up to the mast and had a very secure spot jammed in between the mast, handholds, and a winch handle. Being at the centre of the boat it was actually smoother up there. Went back to the cockpit, sat down talking to John, advising him of approaching big waves, so that he could adjust the course. I saw a big one coming, told him to go down a bit, he spun the wheel and I said here we go!! 22.7 knots of speed with foam all around. Wow! Smiles and laughing. I had just put my camera into a plastic bag when John said "Doug look out!"

I looked back at John and saw a huge wave behind him. I thought OK we're surfing again. But then it just went up into a big steep wall and I knew it was going to break. John had steered so that the boat was going straight down the wave, a perfect position. I saw it turn white, turned my head forward and down, and the water came rushing over the top of us. It was like being in a waterfall. Baseball sized drops roaring over us. It seemed to go on and on and on but was probably over in about 5 seconds to 8 seconds. The cockpit was full of water, the cushions were everywhere. I was laughing, trying to straighten stuff out while John, who had been pushed into the wheel was watching for the next big wave. The guys down below had seen it coming through the door window and then just saw us disappear into a wall of grey water. After the water level had drained from the cockpit, they opened the door, Doug G stuck his head out and asked if we were OK. I was still laughing. He may have thought I was nuts, but it was just such a wild experience! The Falcon had shook off another potential bad situation. What a great boat. I stayed up and did some more filming and got Stu with a mini wave that broke over the back right on to him.

There was some discussion downstairs while I was steering and it was decided that a stop in Apollo Bay may be the safest move. A phone call to the harbour master, who said the seas were calm and to customs who said there was no problem, they could clear us there. That decided, we made for Apollo Bay.

I came up for my afternoon steer and knew we were within 25 miles of land, but it was foggy, rainy, so nothing in sight as I started. Brendan was up with me spotting waves behind, and as we came up on a high one, something was off the starboard bow. I looked again as we came up on the next wave and caught a quick glimpse of a light house on our right side, pretty close! WHAT!! There was only suppose to be water there and I had just looked at the chart, my course was correct. There should not be a light house there! We yelled down for the guys to check the chart and radar. Just then we popped up on a big wave and it was a ship not a light house. OOPS. Yell down stairs again, sorry!! Maneuvered to stay well clear and watched as he pounded into the big waves with spray shooting well over the bow. I happened to look to my left and there was a dark band, HEY LAND, sure enough there was the Cape Otway lighthouse and surrounding hills. Ah that felt better. pos 38 58.55 s 143 30e. time 16:18 Melbourne March 5th

John came up and steered us into Bass Straight. We were having rain showers on and off. All of a sudden there were dolphins heading towards us from the bow. They were everywhere. Jumping right out of the water. On both sides of the boat going all directions. Had time to grab my camera and video them. It was like they were putting on a show for our arrival! Then Stu turned around and saw a rainbow behind John as we were making our way in shore to Apollo Bay. Looked like mother nature had approved of our change of plans.

Brought Falcon into the harbour with some small swells coming across the entrance. Nice and smooth inside. Tied up to the wall in rain showers and very windy, glad to be off the roller coaster. Time 17:00 Melbourne.

Had a quick stay of 24 hours in Apollo bay, clearing customs, fueling and watering, cleaning up. Celebrated landing in Australia with a bottle of Champagne, a big steak dinner with great desserts for all. A nice sleep with no motion.

Audrey wrote and told us about our friend, Pete Goss who is about 3 days behind us. They had been knocked down by a large wave and one of the crew (Mark) has broken his leg. We hope all will be good and are awaiting more news. We're so glad they are close to Australia and getting assistance. The whole crew realises how lucky we are to be safe after such extreme weather!

Out Thursday at 18:50 Melbourne, underway for the last time. Right now sailing up to Melbourne. Due to the narrow entrance at Port Lonsdale, we have to wait for the slack water between low and high tides to get into the bay. Our present position is 38 23.660 S -144 28.833 E(FRIDAY Mar. 6th 03:00 Mel. /15:00 UTC Thurs.) slack time for tide will be 08:30 Mel. If this changes we will get you the info.

About 5 big ships passed us within the 1st 3 hours of this leg. Running with 2 people on deck to keep a sharp eye out. Also Thomas G (John's youngest son) is on board for the last leg after meeting us at Apollo Bay. That's it for now.

Day 116 at sea

Storm Bound
Temporarily Anchored
at
APOLLO BAY

From John Wednesday at APOLLO BAY:

Daily Log for Wednesday
Day: 116 at sea (Day 47 from Simon's Town)
Date: March 4th 18:00 Boat(Melbourne)/07:00 UTC
Distance from Oakville: 8840 n.m. b 068 approx. 16,400 boat miles travelled
Distance from New York: 9070 n.m. b 074
Distance from Simon's Town: 5470 n.m. b 223
Distance from Melbourne: 75 n.m. b 047 Albatross miles
Distance travelled in straight line 24 hours: 160 n.m.
Latitude: 38 45.449s
Longitude: 143 40.495 e in Apollo Bay
Boat Speed: 5 - 12 knots
Boat Heading: ENE
Boat Sails: staysail
Barometer: 1016.6
Beaufort Scale: 5 - 11 Fresh Breeze -to-Gale - Violent Storm'
Sea State: 6 - 40 ft Exquisetly huge.
Weather Conditions: windy, sun cloud, squalls
Wind Direction/Speed: W 18 - 40 knts Gusting to 58 Knts
Temp: Air: 16 C
Cloud Cover: 30 - 100%

Greetings from Record Breaking FGT voyages in the South Atlantic, North Atlantic and Southern Oceans,

- Last day of 47 in the Southern Ocean
- 58 knots - Highest wind speed
- 22.7 knots - fastest boat speed
- 170 knots run - fastest 24 hour run
- 40' swells -waves - highest seen
- 80 dolphins welcomed us into Apollo Bay
- 1 magnificent rainbow at Apollo Bay
- 1 wonderful welcome by Phillip the Apollo Bay Harbourmaster
- The most pleasant, friendly, thorough, and efficient Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine officials for Australia ( Andrew, Chris, Judd)
- The best eye fillet from the Apollo Bay Hotel - Thank You Charles, Leanne, Marley and Stephanie
Thank you

FGT - Storm bound at Apollo Bay 100miles from Willy -
but only till Tomorrow when we head for the Heads -
Willy on Friday - 2pm!!!(Melbourne Time)-(10 p.m Thursday Oakville Time).

On on to Willy.
Cheers
Your Thankful Crew
--------------------------------------------------------------------

report from earlier Wednesday......

IMPORTANT NEWS Just in from Doug S.
Wednesday 12:30 Melbourne/ 1:30 a.m. UTC

Due to heavy weather and rough seas (see blog below), John and the crew have decided Falcon GT will pull in to Apollo Bay just for the evening of Wednesday March 4th.

All is well on board, albeit rough and rocky. However they have been advised based on tides and strong weather that it is best to dock for the night until conditions are more favourable to go through the heads at Port Lonsdale. ( A very narrow opening in to Phillips Bay ).

While at Apollo Bay they will be cleared by customs.

They expect to arrive on shore in aproximately 6 - 8 hours. Putting them in to dock at approx. 18:00 Melbourne time Wed. March 4th (2 a.m. EDT Canadian Time...Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning however you wish to look at it).

Present position:
Wed. Mar. 4th 12:30 p.m Melbourne/1:30 a.m. UTC /
39 05 s 143 11 e
-------------------------------------------------

report from earlier Wednesday:

UPDATE FROM DOUG S. EMAIL:
Wed. Mar. 4th 10:00 a.m Melbourne/ Tues. Mar. 3rd 23:00 UTC

Position: 39 08.527 s 142 47.423 e
Course: 070
Boat Speed: 5 - 11 up to 22.7 knots
Beaufort Scale: 6 - 8 ' Fresh Gale ' / 10 - 11 - ' Storm '

35 miles to Cape Otway .

Fun times here! ;-) winds are up now 25 - 40 knts
Doug G saw a gust up to 58 knts
I was steering with a gust at 54 knots.
I had the boat speed up to 19.5 knts, a new record!! Then John got it up to 22.7 knts!
Waves are about 25 ft. but spaced more than they were during our Dec 22nd storm.
Weather is a mixture of sun and rain. Boat rocking a lot.
Just the staysail up. We're back on 2 hour watches.

All is good, really enjoying it.
Glad it's nearly our last day but glad it's like this too.
Gotta experience it. Only gonna be here once.

Cheers! Doug S.
--------
News from Spirit of Mystery:
Some of you have been following the Spirit of Mystery since our crew met up with Pete Goss in Simon's Town.

We have learned of an accident on board, approximately 400 miles behind Falcon GT.

Unfortunately, a large wave hit the Spirit of Mystery. The vessel was knocked over and an injury sustained by one of the crew, Mark Maidment, who has broken his right leg between knee and ankle. The crew are all in good spirits. AMSA's dedicated Dornier Search and Rescue aircraft has over flown the vessel and a doctor has been able to establish two-way communications to offer advice.

Further news will be given as and when it becomes available via:
" PETE GOSS WEBSITE "

We have sent a message to their CO. The crew of Falcon GT offered to help in any way possible as they were fueled up and ready to go at a moment's notice. They have a fully stocked med. pak and were willing to help in any way.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Pete, Mark, Andy and Pete's son Eliot. We wish them a safe passage to Williamstown.

This unfortunate accident serves to remind us of the power of the ocean and the courage of all sailors who dare to sail the mighty seas.

Day 115 at sea


Daily Log for Tuesday

Day: 115 at sea (Day 46 from Simon's Town)
Date: March 3rd 18:00 Boat(Melbourne)/07:00 UTC
Distance from Oakville: 9000 n.m. b 069 approx. 16,250 boat miles travelled
Distance from New York: 9227 n.m. b 076
Distance from Simon's Town: 5326 n.m. b 224
Distance from Melbourne: 232 n.m. b 064 Albatross miles
Distance travelled in straight line 24 hours: 120 n.m.
Latitude: 39 39.626 s
Longitude: 140 28.388 e
Boat Speed: 3 - 11 knots
Boat Heading: 100 ESE - on the highway
Boat Sails: staysail #4reef main overnight, just staysail during day
Barometer: 1007.5
Beaufort Scale: 5 - 6 now 6 - 8 Moderate to Fresh Gale
Sea State: 6 - 15 ft Quite Rough
Weather Conditions: rain showers overnight then some clearing during day to sunny
Wind Direction/Speed: NE overnight then switched to W 16 - 25 knts, now 25 -32 with g 40
Temp: Air: 16 C
Cloud Cover: 100% overnight then to 20%

From John Tuesday:

Greetings from the gale central in the Southern Ocean,

Still storming after all these days! What can be said - getting the second roughest seas of the whole voyage right at the end. We reckon to be off Cape Otway by late tomorrow -Wednesday - then run up the Diamond Coast (aka 'the Great Ocean Road' where the water sparkles like diamonds) 60 miles to the heads. Pop into the heads (another link) first thing Thursday some time!! - at least that's the plan.

Very rough night - boat smashing over waves, then rolling as the wind went behind us. Mainsail down, staysail only.
Right now that's our lot. The good news is we can listen to the ABC Melbourne all day now.

We are 97 miles South of Portland Vic.

On on to Willy.

Cheers
Your Crew
------------
From Doug S. email Tuesday:

Not a lot going on today as there was quite a bit of motion down below. I watched part of a Star Wars movie. John made some bread and Doug G heated up the last of the pre-made meals. Other than that we are waiting for the main low pressure system to move through. The seas are building.

Just did my 1800 - 2100 which was the sunset cruise. Clear sky with a few squalls in the distance. Able to have one last look at the comet. Moving away from the earth now so is not as bright as before. As I sign off for the night with John outside steering, the winds have come up to 25 - 32 with a gust up to 40. So maybe the wait is over. Here comes the last full day before we should spot some land!
Cheers!

Day 114 at sea

Playful Seal
picture taken from video camera by Doug S.
Daily Log for Monday
Day: 114 at sea (Day 45 from Simon's Town)
Date: March 2nd 18:00 Boat(Melbourne)/07:00 UTC
Distance from Oakville: 9120 n.m. b 070/ approx. 16,100 boat miles travelled
Distance from New York: 9345 n.m. b 077
Distance from Simon's Town: 5243 n.m. b 226
Distance from Melbourne: 325 b 075 Albatross miles
Distance travelled (Boat Log) 24 hours: 88 n.m.
Distance travelled in straight line 24 hours: 83 n.m.
Latitude: 39 28.267 s
Longitude: 137 50.516 e
Boat Speed: 4 - 7 knots
Boat Heading: NE overnight tacked to ESE in morning with wind shift
Boat Sails: full main overnight (motored) staysail #4 reef main in morning
Barometer: 1014.9
Beaufort Scale: 5 - 6
Sea State: 6 - 10ft Rough
Weather Conditions: mostly clear overnight and morning clouded up
Wind Direction/Speed: overnight N to NE 3 - 8 knots, today N 18 - 25 knots
Temp: Air: 17 C
Cloud Cover: 30 - 80%
-------------
From John Monday:

Greetings from the last blast - we hope - in the Southern Ocean,
OK - no escape - hard on the wind again - just to keep our memories of the tough times fresh.
The greybeards on the waves are looking like classics seen in pics by Cape Horn. The grey beards inside the boat are looking like they have been rode hard and put away wet.

We are battling a NE gale tonight, which puts South of our course to Cape Otway . Tomorrow we expect a cold front to come through with following Westerly winds to blow us home. Thank you Neptune.

Last night the SM spoke to the friendly Trevor Chappell on ABC Overnight radio, with the lovely Lisa orchestrating the interview. He asked what marine life we had seen and I forgot to tell him about the rare Pigmy Right whale that appeared to want to make love to the boat - must have been a tad shortsighted. We will report back to Trevor after arrival at Willy.

ETA - Williamstown - Thursday 6 March 09 in the afternoon. We appreciate the invite from Vice Commodore Tony Spencer at the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria.

We are 277 miles South of Adelaide SA.

On on to Willy.
Cheers
Your Crew
------------------------------
From Doug S. email MONDAY:

A calm overnight. We had a movie at sunset ( "Kiss the girls" - Morgan Freeman 1997). As you can see it was a quiet night. Motored with very light winds. Doug G started sailing as the sun came up. Heading NE but the wind veered to the NE so we were actually heading NNW. Some of the crew thought we needed more Northing, and some wanted more East. The East side won and we are now heading ESE. Wind should veer around to the NW overnight which will allow us to steer more East and then NE. Not a great mileage run today because of the lack of wind overnight and then the tack we put in. Crossed into Australian Territorial waters (200 mile limit).

Winds came up to over 20 knts during the morning and we went down to the smallest sail set. Waves building and so we're hard on it again with lots of heel and splashing.

Tomorrow we should be able to put our clocks on Melbourne time. All watching the GPS count down the miles and minutes to Cape Otway. Everyone wishing the wind shift would come so we can head right for it. Frustrating having to head 25 degrees away. Looking like 2 days to Cape Otway, then another up the coast. The end is (almost) in sight.   Cheers!

Day 113 at sea

Daily Log for Sunday
Day: 113 at sea (Day 44 from Simon's Town)
Date: March 1st 18:00 Boat(Melbourne)/07:00 UTC
Distance from Oakville: 9193 nm bearing 071
(16,000 approx. boat miles traveled
)
Distance from New York: 9426 nm bearing 079
Distance from Simon's Town: 5163 nm bearing 227
Distance from Melbourne: 426 Albatross miles b 073
Distance travelled (Boat Log) 24 hours: 100 n.m.
Distance travelled in straight line 24 hours: 125 n.m.
Latitude: 40 20.164 S
Longitude: 136 19.083 E
Boat Speed: 3 - 5 knots
Boat Heading: ENE 070 - right on the highway.
Boat Sails: just spinnaker overnight, full main in morning with spinnaker
Barometer: 1026.3
Beaufort Scale: 4
Sea State: 5ft ocean swell - smooth, very calm
Weather Conditions: mostly sunny some high cloud
Wind Direction/Speed: 8 - 12 knots W to SW to S to SE
Temp: Air: 17 C
Cloud Cover: 20 - 40%

From John Sunday:

Greetings from the smooth spinnaker sailors in the Southern Ocean,

We have had the spinnaker up and propelling us along at an average 5 knots for 36 hours. V noice. This time marked by slack night watches listening to the ABC, folks catching up on snoozing, catching an episode of Boston Legal - The Cruise Directors choice - pancakes for breakfast, rum for lunch, rice and stew for dinner, washed down with a blended Alto from SA and served up with fresh wholemeal bread because we are, after all, snags.
The forecast is not exactly appetizing so we trust today's sustenance will serve us well for a couple of days - hard on the wind is hard on the cook.

We are 341 miles S-SW of Adelaide SA .

On on to Willy. Let's go for an ETA of Thursday 5 March 09

Cheers
Your Crew
--------
From Doug S email Sunday:

A very clear night with another look at the comet Lulin, now moved past Saturn. At sunset a very narrow crescent moon just above a very bright Venus. Had the spinnaker up all night and smooth seas made for a very comfortable sleep.
The auto helm has been getting a good work out with all these light conditions. For my morning shift (sunrise), I did have to maneuver the boat as the wind veered more to the south. Doug G came up at 1st light and we gybed the spinnaker so we were not heading as far towards the North. Then John came up and we put up the full main. Nice speeds around 7 knts for awhile.

Had a buddy come play with me this morning. I happened to look back and there was a small seal. It was coming right up to the stern and then would swim to the front of the boat and kept popping up all around. Captured some video but he was too quick for still pictures.

Under 500 miles to go! We are all looking forward to getting off the boat, but I stop and look around 'cause I'm not going to have this view much longer. Today the ocean looked a lot like Lake Ontario, almost the same colour, and small waves.

Starting to sort out the boat for arrival. Sorting out remaining food stuffs and cleaning out the v berth. Other than that enjoying the day and ocean. Cheers!

Day 112 at sea

Daily Log for Saturday:
Day: 112 at sea (Day 43 (Reg - it's adjusted) from Simon's Town)
Date: February 28th 18:00 Boat(Melbourne)/07:00 UTC
Distance from Oakville: 9317 nm bearing 073 15900 approx. miles traveled since
Distance from New York: 9546 nm bearing 081
Distance from Simon's Town: 5048 nm bearing 229
Distance from Melbourne: 550 Albatross miles
Distance travelled (Boat Log) 24 hours: 100 n.m.
Distance travelled in straight line 24 hours: 118 n.m.
Latitude: 40 58.337 S
Longitude: 133 42.224 E
Boat Speed: 4 - 8 knots
Boat Heading: 95 E - right on the highway.
Boat Sails: #4 reef main overnight took down to just 2.2 oz spinnaker at daybreak
Barometer: 1025.1
Beaufort Scale: 4
Sea State: 6 - 10ft seas bouncy - with occasional 15 ft ocean swell
Weather Conditions: overcast to clear
Wind Direction/Speed: W 10 - 13 knots
Temp: Air: 17 C
Cloud Cover: variable 100 - 0%

From John Saturday:

Greetings from the spinnaker sailors in the Southern Ocean,

We bounced the night away - became thoroughly annoyed (very polite words by the SM) with the main slapping and banging around, gybed several times, steered all over the map, finally dropped the main in disgust, hoisted the 2.2 oz blue spinnaker at dawn to roll our way to Willy.

The wind is light and right behind us - basically due West and the SM wants to head directly for Cape Otway - none of this heading North now and South later - just get straight to the mark! We expect lighter winds tomorrow so the diesel will get a bit of an airing.

Arrival times are continually being adjusted and right now Wednesday is a long shot with Thursday looking good for Willy.
Had an excellent HH in bright sunshine over a sparkling sea.

We are 376 miles SW of Mount Gambier SA got the cockpit stereo tuned into ABC Melbourne so we are listening to the 1st Test match of cricket between Australia and South Africa being played at Joburg. Very appropriate as we have very warm feelings for SA, and hot ones for Australia.

On on to Willy.

Cheers
Your Crew

From Doug S. Saturday email:

Auto helm working all day so shifts were spent out in the nice sunshine. As a matter of fact everyone ended up out there soaking it up. Stu made some delicious pizzas for dinner, and we're all hoping this wind keeps up all night! Right now heading 075 right towards Melbourne at 4-7 knts. Very smooth seas with some rocking under the spinnaker. Cheers!

Day 111 at sea

Feb. 27th Doug G with his favourite candy
pic. by Stu.
Daily Log for Friday:
Day: 111 at sea (Day 42 from Simon's Town)
Date: February 27th 18:00 Boat(Melbourne)/07:00 UTC
Distance from Melbourne: 670 Albatross miles
Distance travelled (Boat Log) 24 hours: 140 n.m.
Distance travelled in straight line 24 hours: 158 n.m.
Latitude: 40 45.967 S
Longitude: 131 05.757 E
Boat Speed: 5 - 6 knots
Boat Heading: 060
Boat Sails: #2 jib #4reef main
Barometer: 1024.0
Beaufort Scale: 5 - 6
Sea State: 10 - 20 ft Very rough
Weather Conditions: sun cloud mix
Wind Direction/Speed: NW to SW 16 - 23 knots
Temp: Air: 10 - 15 C
Cloud Cover: variable 100-20%

From John Friday:

Greetings from the ornithologists in the Southern Ocean,
Ok things are improving - the wind has dropped a bit, and we are heading right for the entrance to Port Phillip Bay - aka - 'The Heads' - what would Sigmund say? We are a bit happier to be in slightly calmer seas eating ok and getting just enough sleep. Everyone is ready to stop and get a decent nights rest, maybe have a beer.

Feb. 27th L'il Al. and sunset on the SO
Lots of birds are visiting today including the largest Albatross seen yet - kept circling the boat then landing 20 metres off the starboard side pecking something out of the water. Six petrels alight and have a Kaffee klatch together for a few minutes. Very social scene on the SO.
Stars are brilliant - the Milky Way looked almost as good as the Northern Lights. Those Canadians!

We are 389 miles SW of Kangaroo Island SA and we have the cockpit stereo tuned into ABC Adelaide - Broken Hill - check out where they are Katja and Anika.

On on to Willy.

Cheers
-------------
Feb. 27th Falcon GT's Chart Plotter
pic by Doug S.

From Doug S. email Friday:

Late afternoon yesterday winds were high around 25, very big wind blown waves. 2 Big Al's flying around along with all the Petrels giving us the eye. When we are sailing downwind like that the birds come by from the front of the boat going against the wind. It's funny how we both are checking each other out as they go by very slowly. Then they turn with the wind and zoom off at high speed to circle around and do another slow pass. Wind whipped waves were very pretty in the sunshine with the blue-green water, whitecaps and spray. Did my shift with just the #4 reefed main due to high winds. When John came out he unfurled the jib as the winds decreased. A very enjoyable shift to be remembered.

On the ' just after sunrise ' shift this morning, waves were down a little, along with the winds. Had some squall lines go through with winds up to 23 and light rain. Still rocky going downwind. Later on, Stu made bread. We are running out of the pre-made meals, but lots of other food on board. We've put our clocks ahead one more hour. Now on the same time as Port Moresby Papua New Guinnea and Vladivostok Russia. That's about it for today. Cheers!

Day 110 at sea

Feb. 26th John at the helm watching big waves on the SO
pic by Doug S.

Daily Log for Thursday:
Day: 110 at sea (Day 41 from Simon's Town)
Date: February 26th 18:00 Boat(Melbourne)/07:00 UTC
Distance from Oakville: 9578 nm bearing 077
--15,500 approx. miles travelled.

Distance from Simon's Town: 4809 nm bearing 232
Distance from Melbourne: 821 nm bearing 081
Distance travelled (Boat Log) 24 hours: 73 n.m.
Distance travelled in straight line 24 hours: 100 n.m.
Latitude: 42 08.254 S
Longitude: 128 06.009 E
Boat Speed: 2 - 11 knots
Boat Heading: ENE 080 - right on the highway-
Boat Sails: staysail only overnight, #2 jib, #4 reef main, then staysail back to #2 jib, then just #4 reef main
Barometer: 1008.0
Beaufort Scale: 3 - 7 Moderate Gale, Near Gale
Sea State: 10 - 30 ft Very rough
Weather Conditions: rain lightning overnight, fog morning, clearing to sun in afternoon
Wind Direction/Speed: overnight NE 20 down to 10, today backing to W increasing to 25 g 30
Temp: Air: 10 - 15 C
Cloud Cover: varies 20 - 100%

From John Thursday:

Greetings from the kennel in the Southern Ocean,
More dogs days. The good news is the wind is now behind us and we are rolling at warp speed out of the kennel and into the barn. We elected to go with the #4 reef in the main - the only sail up and we are offski.
Things are a bit chaotic downstairs but the QM made a delicious concoction of rice and spaghetti meat just right for these rough conditions.

We are 637 miles S of Eucla WA and we can tune into ABC Melbourne - Giddyup.

On on to Willy.

Cheers
Your Crew
------------------
From Doug S. email Thursday:
Another very dark night. As predicted the winds died down, the waves got a little smaller, and the rain poured, hard at times. Some sheet lightning to go with that. Motored for a while with the light winds and only staysail. Wind had shifted north so we were heading towards Melbourne again instead of SE. Put up main to 4th reef at 1st light then I was off to bed to warm up.

When I awoke, sun was out but not for long. Sails had been changed to #2 jib and full main. Winds increased to over 20 as we got under some cloud, so then the staysail went back up and a # 4 reef put in the main. At 1400 Mel time winds had decreased enough to put the #2 jib back. So, to sum it all up....lots of sail changes.

Sun peeking out again now, looks like it's clearing with rain showers moving off. Winds backing to the West, making very confused seas. Waves coming from multiple directions. So it's rough again downstairs. Water is a pretty blue-green. Sure looks much nicer with the sun out!
A nice day compared to the last few! Cheers!

Day 109 at sea

"Dog Days at sea on the Southern Ocean"
Satellite picture from Google Earth
Wednesday Feb. 25th


Daily Log for Wednesday:
Day: 109 at sea (Day 40 from Simon's Town)
Date: February 25th 18:00 Boat(Melbourne)/07:00 UTC
Distance from Melbourne: 908 nm bearing 081
Distance travelled (Boat Log) 24 hours: 32 n.m.
Distance travelled in straight line 24 hours: 80 n.m.
Latitude: 42 04.023 S
Longitude: 125 50.458 E
Boat Speed: 1 - 4 knots
Boat Heading: SE 150 - a lot below the highway-
Boat Sails: staysail
Barometer: 1014.1
Beaufort Scale: 5 - 7 Moderate Gale, Near Gale
Sea State: 6 - 30 ft V rough
Weather Conditions: cloudy, occ. rain
Wind Direction/Speed: NE 20 - 35 knots
Temp: Air: 10 - 15 C
Cloud Cover: 100%

From John Wednesday 19:00 Melbourne/ 8:00 UTC :

Greetings from another doggy day in the Southern Ocean,

Still dog days. You should see some of these puppies - they roll up sideways - classics of the SO - 30 footers about 8 seconds apart causing all sorts of nasty comments from the snag driving.
May this time go away v soon.

We are 706 miles SE of the famous Kalgoorlie WA

On on to Willy.

Cheers
Your Crew
-----------------------
From Doug S. email Wednesday:

A slow day for the boat and occupants today. Moderate to near Gale winds with rough seas outside. Just running along under the staysail, rolling in the waves.

Still On 2 hour shifts to deal with the conditions. Last night's shift had to be one of the darkest on the whole trip. You could see the outline of the mast, the lights at the top and the whitecaps of the waves when they were lit up by the strobe. Occasionally a wave would slap the side of the boat and a cold shower would result. It was also raining and with the winds from 20-30 knts, it stung when it hit my nose. With the foul weather gear it was quite dry and my hood and new hat kept my face protected, but my nose was out in the wind sometimes. ;-) I remember many nights at work like that.

Doug G had a thunderstorm go through on his shift then the wind died. Bright sheet lightning. Motor was turned on for a short while but the winds returned.
With all the rocking and only 8 hours between shifts, everyone sticking to bunks, reading and sleeping.

Winds forecasted to switch direction overnight then we can head more towards Melbourne again and get back on track.
That's about it for today.
Cheers!

Day 108 at sea

Satellite Weather Picture from Google Earth
Tuesday Feb. 24th


Daily Log for Tuesday:
Day: 108 at sea (Day 39 from Simon's Town)
Date: February 24th 18:00 Boat(Melbourne)/07:00 UTC
Distance from Melbourne: 956 nm bearing 085
Distance travelled (Boat Log) 24 hours: 98 n.m.
Distance travelled in straight line 24 hours: 110 n.m.
Latitude: 41 05.812 S
Longitude: 124 36.930 E
Boat Speed: 4 - 6 knots
Boat Heading: SE 130
Boat Sails: #2 jib #2 reef main overnight. Morning staysail and #4 reef min, afternoon just staysail
Barometer: 1022.5
Beaufort Scale: 4 - 7 Moderate Gale - Near Gale
Sea State: 4 - 8 ft
Weather Conditions: cloudy
Wind Direction/Speed: NNE 12-28 knots - gusting to 33 knots
Temp: Air: 15 C
Cloud Cover: 100% But the sun has peeked out once or twice.

From John Tuesday:

It's a dog's day, the winds are blowing, the dogs are off the chains and they're saying ruf ruf ruf!

From Doug S. Tuesday:

Woke up to bouncy seas and building winds. Went to smaller sails as the day progressed. On my shift just after sunrise, had some waves spraying over the cockpit. Got good and wet twice. I lost my Royal Caribbean cap! Now I usually lose my hat on sailboats within days, but I've had the same one since NY and it was just starting to look nice and worn in. I was thinking I was going to make it the whole way with the same hat for once. Not a great loss really, I do have another.

Not much going on today as everyone keeps to their bunks and rides out the rolly waves. Winds are from the NE, right where we want to go. Is this the Atlantic again? So we have to head SE almost parallel to the Aussie coast. Low boat speeds with just the staysail up. Biding our time 'til the wind changes. We're going on two hour watches this evening instead of three due to stronger winds. Distance still decreasing to Melbourne although slower, we are under the 1000 mile mark!

Cheers!

Day 107 at sea


Daily Log for MONDAY
Day: 107 at sea (Day 38 from Simon's Town)
Date: February 23 18:00 Boat(Melbourne)/07:00 UTC
Distance from Oakville: 9786 nm bearing 073
Distance from New York: 10036 nm bearing 084
Distance from Simon's Town: 4650 nm bearing 235
Distance from Melbourne: 1062 nm bearing 089
Distance travelled (Boat Log) 24 hours: 115 n.m.
Distance travelled in straight line 24 hours: 115 n.m.
Latitude: 40 41.849 S
Longitude: 122 16.428 E
Boat Speed: 3 - 6 knots
Boat Heading: 66 North East - a bit above the highway
Boat Sails: #2jib #4 reefed main overnight, main down during motor, back up to #2 reef for the rest of the day
Barometer: 1029.4
Beaufort Scale: 2 - 3
Sea State: 6 - 12 ft
Weather Conditions: mostly sunny
Wind Direction/Speed: NW to NNW 5 - 10
Temp: Air: 8 - 16 C
Cloud Cover: 50 - 80%

From John Monday:

Greetings from a calm Southern Ocean,

Things change fairly quickly here - as the CEO opined - the Atlantic Oceans weather is largely controlled by permanent high pressure systems, whereas here in the SO the highs, and lows (in particular) roll by quickly - here one moment, gone the next. Thank goodness too - yesterday's low with its rough seas has gone and now we are tooling along nicely with Jib 2 and #2 reef in the mainsail.

Tomorrow we are in for a 'last week on the SO blast' from - can you believe it ? - a high which is going to hit us with some of the strongest winds of the trip. And, of course, almost on the nose.

So we are not expecting a great deal of progress until later on Thursday. The decks have been cleared - we are carbo-loaded with pasta and meat sauce (and WD), catching some sleep (not on watch - oh no that would never happen), and quietly cursing.

We are 391 miles below Esperance WA

On on to Willy.

Cheers
Your Crew
----------
From Doug S. Monday:

Now the same ol same ol is it's always different. Mostly clear night with some small clouds moving through. Saw the comet again and could see it with the naked eye but was so dim that it was just barely visible. Brendan also saw it through the binoculars. Tonight (23rd-24th) is the closest it gets to earth, and is just below Saturn. Binoculars are the best way to see it. A lot of small fast moving meteors going from east to west. At first I thought maybe space debris, but I believe all satellites go from west to east, so guess not.

Wind died out around sunrise and the motor was turned on. Ran for a few hours 'til the wind came back up. We are now heading a bit North due to the strong NE blow heading our way which will push us South. Cloudy when I woke up but the sun has prevailed and it`s nice out now with a cool wind. Tonight should be on calm seas and low winds, as we prepare for what`s ahead this week.

Day 106 at sea

" get a load of that bad boy!! "
SO wave Feb. 22nd.
pic by John


22/2 John enjoys some sun as a squall line approaches
pic by Brendan
22/2 Big waves on the Southern Ocean
pic by Brendan
Daily Log for Sunday
Day: 106 at sea (Day 37 from Simon's Town)
Date: February 22 18:00 Boat(Melbourne)/07:00 UTC
Distance from Oakville: 9920 nm bearing 075-( travelled approx. 15,150 n.m.)
Distance from New York: 10167 nm bearing 088
Distance from Simon's Town: 4544 nm bearing 237
Distance from Melbourne: 1170 nm bearing 089
Distance travelled (Boat Log) 24 hours: 159 n.m.
Distance travelled in straight line 24 hours: 160 n.m.
Latitude: 41 10.154 S
Longitude: 119 49.389 E
Boat Speed: 5 - 11 knots
Boat Heading: 095 E
Boat Sails: #2 jib #4 reef main, later just #4 reef main
Barometer: 1026.0
Beaufort Scale: 4 - 9 STRONG GALE
Sea State: 10 - 30 ft very rough, big close together
Weather Conditions: sun cloud rain, all in 5 minutes
Wind Direction/Speed: NW to W to S to SW 14 - 45 knots
Temp: Air: 16 C
Cloud Cover: 0 - 80%

From John Sunday:

Greetings from a stormy Southern Ocean,

Late last night the wind came up to blow 47 knots making the wimpy burgers roll away the jib 2, and we just pulled it out again. We got some terrific pics of those fabled S.O. rollers arriving like cliffs at the transom of the boat.
Not too comfy inside - kind of rolly with the odd 45 degree port roll washing the deck nicely. Consequently nothing done on board except for snoozing and loud squeals of ' get a load of that bad boy!!'

Big Al and his mate showed their disdain for the seas surface conditions by landing in our wake, snapping up a snack, and simply sitting there bobbing over the tremendous waves.

The clouds roll up in a continuous procession from the South West with winds averaging 20 knots.
Getting closer still.
We are 428 miles below Hopetoun WA

On on to Willy.

Cheers
Your Crew
-----------------

Excerpts from Doug S email Sunday:

What a difference a day makes! It started during Brendan's shift as the wind picked up and a heavy shower came through. The winds getting up to 30 knots. We were heading downwind now. On my shift some light showers and winds up to 35 knts. Waves increasing. A good workout trying to keep the boat from gybing. Some surfing down big waves. A fun fast 3 hour shift.

John came up early and took in the headsail as it was too hard to keep flying. (The main was blocking its wind). Good boat speeds 8 - 12 knts, lot of rocking with the downwind sail and big waves. Very hard to sleep. Stayed up with John for most of his shift as wasn't tired and thought the clouds might clear. Sure enough after the cold front went through the stars came out and got a very good sighting of the comet with the binoculars. Getting closer to Saturn now. Still just a fuzzy ball but it seemed elongated so that may have been the tail.

This morning waves a bit bigger, still rolling, and winds up and down. Again a fun steer in wild seas. Towards the end of my shift a squall came through with a gust up to 47 knts. I put the boom in the water a few times. Just rocking from the big waves. Very pretty out there when the sun is out, with the different blues and whitecaps. Wind supposed to die off tonight and hopefully the waves too so the motion slows a bit.

All enjoying the experience (except the non sleeping part). Not the easiest 160 miles we've done but not the worst either. Cheers, Doug S.

Day 105 at sea

21/2 Stormy rough seas
pic. by John
Daily Log for Saturday
Day: 105 at sea (Day 36 from Simon's Town)
Date: February 21st 18:00 Boat(Melbourne)/07:00 UTC
Distance from Oakville: 10065 nm bearing 073
Distance from New York: 10322 nm bearing 089
Distance from Simon's Town: 4412 nm bearing 239
Distance from Melbourne: 1333 nm bearing 091
Distance travelled (Boat Log) 24 hours: 145 n.m.
Distance travelled in straight line 24 hours: 160 n.m.
Latitude: 40 59.611 S
Longitude: 116 16.836 E
Boat Speed: 5 - 10 knots
Boat Heading: 090 E
Boat Sails: #2 jib #2 reef main, changed to #4 reef in afternoon
Barometer: 1016.2
Beaufort Scale: 4
Sea State: 4 - 10
Weather Conditions: mix of sun and cloud
Wind Direction/Speed: N NW 12 - 16
Temp: Air: 16 C
Cloud Cover: 0 - 80%

From John Saturday:

Greetings from a different face of the Southern Ocean,

This morning the wind came up and we reefed to #4 in the mainsail with the boat speed staying at the 7's and above. That's what happens when a cold front comes by. Later this afternoon we had a decent fresh water wash and a non-smooth sea. We just roll on at great speeds to Melbourne.

Right now we are 360 miles SE of Cape Leeuwin -one of the great capes of the Southern Ocean. So well under Australia heading directly for Cape Otway which is 1230 miles away.

Who saw something remarkable today? The CEO and the CD - that's who. And what was it? It was a glass ball with netting bobbing along. What else? A dirty big Noah's Ark swimming under the ball until we came by then that shark came over and gave those guys the hungry look. Squeals of alarm which caused the Noah to leave rapidly.

Our lunch was fried Indian bread with tuna salad, dinner spaghetti with a tasty sauce, HH with a discussion on what's the 3 things to do first after arrival at Willy.
Getting closer.

On on to Willy.
Cheers
Your Crew

Cherrios

Our family at Clunes - Ian, Carmen, Frank , Bill, and families
Mum and her friends at the Noel Miller Centre
Dorothy, Gwen, and Dr John
Danny A and his Mom and Dad
Maxi, Moni, Katja, and Anika
Bryan Sims and Beata
Allan H and Mrs H
Ingrid and Allan
-----
21/2 Stu cooks dinner on the gimbled stove
(What's vertical? Stove, boat or Stu?)
pic by Doug G.

Exerpts from Doug S email Saturday:

A nice smooth ride last night with fast boat speeds and a good run of 160 miles. A knot of current for 24 hours. Today the wind has been ahead of the mast so quite a bit of heel and rocking with the waves. Not used to it! Sun was in and out all day, felt good.

Not much else happening. I've been busy going through all the pictures and movies taken during the trip to make a little presentation for arrival.

Right under Perth now, so moved the clock forward 1 more hour to be on the same time. Only 2 hours different from Melbourne. The sun is starting to rise and set at the right time!
------------------------------
Video from Nov. 12/08 on the Atlantic Ocean


John tends to small repairs high up the mast,
while sailing the Atlantic Ocean.
filmed by Doug S. November 12th 2008