We were looking at around a 12 hour trip to Bundaberg and wanted to get the incoming tide into the river mouth so we left around 3 am. Besides we had to beat Gypsy Girl and they were in a power boat that cruised at 6 knots. Well the race was on, up came the anchor and off we went. What a lively sail to start the dark hours of the morning off with. The swell and chop was a bit more than expected as we made our way across Harvey Bay. But we soon got used to it and as daylight appeared the sea also seemed to settle down. We were getting quite excited with our speed and were pretty sure that we were going to beat our power cruising buddies. Of course they didn’t know they were in a race and they were going to be leaving at 7, but hey, minor details and that is part of the fun!
After leaving Tin Can Bay just after lunch we went again on the hunt for the allusive Parni, this time though being successful. With mission complete we set off North to spend the night at Inskip point. The bank raises here quite steep and our GPS was showing we were on land, although common sense prevailed that we weren’t. To double check how we would go over night with the tides we went back to the rock and string method to check our depths both forward and aft and concluded that all was cool. After dinner and some kirtan meditation off we went to sleep.
We awoke to our alarm with the sun on first light. I poked my head out the hatch to survey the morning and noticed that all the other boats (except one) were already underway to cross the bar. Damn…last again! On well. Up went the tender, odds and ends were safely put away in their respective places, the sails were hoisted, anchor pulled up and we were off! What a fantastic early morning sail, happily cruising along at 6 knots in a SW wind.
This passage was a mixed bag as we had both tiny puffs and good wind so it ended up about half sailing and half motor sailing.
About 4 other boats were leaving Mooloolaba the same morning. We were the last to leave…and yes of course the last to arrive. We headed out the river around 7 am. It felt pretty good to be underway again heading off into unknown to us territory and we were looking forward to crossing Wide Bay Bar so we could get over those nerves.
Sesha is our small and simple, yet adequate yacht. We purchased her in February 2015 for $8,000 in need of some TLC. So up she went onto the hardstand to get fixed up and ready to cruise. Our planned departure was May 2015.
Now our girl may only be 30 foot but she is very, very roomy inside. She also has 2 decent sized quarter berths that you allow you to sit up in, which we are lucky to have on a boat this size. It means we can fill them up with junk! No, actually one has acted as my study room / office, while the other is where we keep the spare sails unless friends are aboard, then they become the guest quarters.
One thing we love about having a small and simple boats is there are less things to break, therefore less things to repair, therefore more time to play! There are no power hungry refrigerators, TV’s or electric water pumps. There is no indoor shower or hot water system. This all keeps our electrical system easy with no need for large battery banks or inverters. Our boat runs off a 100 amp battery, charged by a 140 watts of solar panels. We have a second 100 amp battery to start the engine, which we periodically put the 40 watt solar panel on if it needs a top up.
She has a Yanmar 15hp diesel engine which is small, but so far has done the trick. She is lovely to sail and easy to manoeuvre, reminding us of our first boat, a Hartley 16 trailer sailor. She is also set up for single handed sailing with all controls coming back to the cockpit in an uncomplicated system.
With already quite a few sea miles under her keel by previous owners (circumnavigation of Australia, and a trip to New Zealand and back ) we are happy to be putting a few more miles under her and definitely feel like she’s a keeper. The more we sail her the more we are appreciating her, including her smallness and simplicity.
Remember go small, go simple, go now.
We set our alarm for 4 am to be sailing by 5. Well at 3 am we got the dreaded love tap from a boat who had anchored too close. Luckily there was no damage to either boat. To save him re-anchoring at such a time we decided to just get underway. As we left the safety of Tangalooma and into lumpy waters that we had not yet traversed daylight was eagerly awaited. Sure enough as the tide the sunlight arrived and we were on our way to Mooloolaba.