Its been a week now since my last post and a lot has happened since then.
As the title of this post suggests I’m back on track to cross the ‘great water’ this summer rather than later in the season. The catalyst has been finding an experienced crew to sail with and available early January.
In spite of this, the decision to go now rather than later has come about through a number of other factors also.
It is true that I am influenced to make the longer voyage now with the finding of an experienced crew, however my previous observations were based on making the trip solo and sailing closer to the coast (dayhops).
As I have written before this coastline though beautiful is also very dangerous and the prospect of facing more headwinds and calms as I have already, whilst negotiating rocks and reefs at this time of year influenced me to think about staying until later at that time.
Until mid to late January, the Pilot Charts indicate the frequency of East/South Easterlies occurs mostly along the coast and can be avoided by putting further out to sea where their effects are less frequent and the incidence of more favourable Westerlies are far more common.
For more explanation, see a snapshot of a Pilot Chart for January below.
I had planned and still have intentions of visiting Tasmania and possibly New Zealand this summer. Staying here in W.A. for summer means I would miss that opportunity. Going across the Bight now means I could still visit them at their most favourable times.
I have also discovered that Albany, though friendly and pretty has a windy, nasty side that makes staying here a long time less appealing than I first thought.
It is perhaps though the big jump in safety by doing it now with an experienced crew that has turned my decision around.
Freespirit is almost back to being 100% fit and I am raring to go again, especially if it means being able to sleep and take watches rather than grabbing sleep and food only when conditions allow me to.
We hope to leave here weather permitting at the very end of December and most likely will spend the New Years day far out to sea.
My new crew I met on a crewing website and I’ll tell you more about her in a later post. For now its time to get ready for the big one.