Looking for an answer…. and sometimes its right under your nose.
Such is my dilemma dear friends, for I find that with less than 30 days to my intended departure I have no suitable crew, a leg wound that will not heal and the possible prospect of a cyclonic passage to Tonga during the coming El Nino season.
Not good reasons for leaving…..
Without crew I am in danger of exhaustion when making my landfall due to lack of sleep. Having already covered some 3,000 nautical miles, I know how exhaustion can creep up on you and influence rational thought. Don’t relish making landfall in bad weather in that state…. at least not by choice.
My wound is now in its second month and despite the best medical advice and prescription still refuses to heal. Leaving with a medical problem unresolved is flirting with danger and makes no sense.
El Nino shows up every 3 to 7 years and its been 5 since the last one. All meteorologic indicators for 2014 are saying its a strong possibility. The cooler sea and the hotter air temps are breeders of cyclonic activity. Consequences of this weather phenomenon within the South Pacific are increased activity both within the season and outside it. This opens the possibility for getting slammed on the long journey to Tonga, sometime whilst I’m there or sometime on the journey back. Not a good prospect either. Think I’ll wait until next year.
On a more positive note….
With the new bow fitting installed and working well, Dini and I have been exploring the D’Entrecasteaux Channel together on Freespirit these last two weekends with great success. This area in the South East of Tasmania is a sailors dream. A great number of good sheltered anchorages, great sailing between them due to the width and length of the protected channel and the mostly pleasant weather at this time of the year have all added up to a great deal of fun and aquatic pleasure aboard Freespirit lately.
Typically, waking up to a peaceful bay at sunrise, land birds greeting you with their song as you are struck by the rich beauty of the surroundings. Or, bounding along under maximum sail as Freespirit slices through the small chop like a happy puppy sailing to the next beautiful cove or inlet. Heaven on earth.
And the fish! Still learning about fishing and the channel but we have already tasted (sic) success with rod and reel in bays where we have been anchored. Admittedly a lot have been throwbacks, but there is great potential for better catches within this aquatic playground. Thus inspired I have made my latest purchase a quality spinning outfit to try and catch some of the bigger fellows we know are out there….. watch this space!
In other news, my canvas work has attracted some attention from other boat owners and has lead to my being engaged to work on their boats. In particular the sunshade cover I designed and built recently has been a talking point. This original effort has turned out well, proving to extend the living area of Freespirit significantly and protecting the cockpit during inclement weather. I’m quite excited and happy with the turn of events toward paid work. I am enjoying the challenge of custom canvas work as it satisfies my creativity and has the potential to support my chosen lifestyle… bring it on!!
This long weekend for something different we are travelling by road to the more remote and isolated regions of the Tasmanian North West Coast. This is an area Dini is very familiar with so under her guidance I’m looking forward to seeing a great deal of spectacular country.
Would have taken the bike but many of the roads up there are dirt and quite rutted… not ideal for my road bike, especially with extra weight on board. Planned is a trip by charter boat up the Gordon River, check out the convict ruins of Sara Island and a look at Hell’s Gates… a notorious narrow and dangerous passage in from the Southern Ocean to Macquarie Harbour. Beautiful, wild and dangerous… lets go!
That’s it for now dear friends.