Sunday, May 31, 2015


We woke after midnight from the scream of our wind generator. A windgust from a southerly shore wind shifted us into another direction. Steadily the squealling of the anchor bunner started to increase and the anchorchain grinding on the bow. With the arrival of daylight we started to hieve anchor. Our suspicions grounded to a halt with the anchor. Stuck. 
First we tried the gentle way. Skipper on the bow trying to follow the chain around the corners it took to wrap itself around the rocks, while I do my best to steer the boat the intended way. Still stuck.
Then the tough way. With brute force and maximum revs on the engine, the braking strength of the anchor, the chain, the boat deck as well as the nerves of the crew are tested to the limit. Still stuck.
Finally the smart way. Remembering the triumph card of sv Mylady with her super good back-off ability, skipper took the wheel and motored around our anchor and then reversed full force the other way. 
The tension loaded anchorchain gave a jump and fell slack. Did the chain break? I couldn't tell and feared the answer. I winched the chain back into the anchorlocker while skipper kept motoring fast backwards. We both were immensely relieved to see the anchor coming above water. 
"Do you dive?" a local fisherman and his wife asked when we went ashore.
"No. Why?"
"There's a pot of gold down there where you were stuck. You're not the first one. We've seen lots of chain and anchor go down there, never to come up again."
'This is James Morill country.'

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Waypoint sailors

Nowadays hordes of new generation cruisers jump on the bandwagon of sailing around the world. The initial passion of discovering and experiencing the unknown had to make way for the number factor. Today the reason is "to be counted".  To be able to say you've done it. Or perhaps to say 'could afford it', since everthing cruising has become so ridiculously expensive. Therefore the today cruiser crosses the oceans with blind trust in human developements like gps, sattelite and insurance. 
The time when a certain amount of skill and interest were required to be able to navigate. Or finding a good star and horison at exactly the good time of morning or evening to take a bearing of and work out with lots of maths and tables and what have you's, where on earth (actually on the ocean) are you in order to ensure you continue in the good direction, are all things and facts which fill history books now. 
In an idyllic anchorage up in a sheltered creek in Savusavu Bay one day, motored True Blue Ozzie yacht passed us on their way out. They made a confusing zig-zag-turn between empty moorings. We thought they were busy with other things and not on attention. A short while later, the South-African catamaran Impi also passed us on their way out. She up on the bow keeping a lookout. He charging at too high speed as was his habit, between the yachts. At exactly the same place between the empty moorings, Impi made the exact same confusing and unnessary (in fact a more risky maneuver towards the coral edge, than safe) zig-zag-turn between the empty moorings. It instantly struck us clear as lightning - waypoint sailors. Not allowing themselves to trust their own observations and logics. Yet, Impi advertises his waypoints on his blog, for other insecure cruisers to follow?
From time to time we also wish for waypoints...

Sunday, May 24, 2015

MYLADY in the Whitsundays

We are spending some time in the Whitsundays off the Queensland coast in Australia. It is beautiful when its not raining. The Southeaster tradewinds helped us along all the time and the very strong tidal currents play havoc with our plans. It is a total delight to see schools of fish jump and run as they avoid being next on the menu. Birds chatter and twitter as I think they only do in OZ. Fish eagles glided over us a few times. Lots of local tourists everywhere - snorkling. And what do we do? Take pictures of the colourful rocks. The Whitsundays is a very nice cruising ground. Here one can spend time....  Also please read the turquoise sea. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

MYLADY VOYAGE from Fiji to Australia

Monday is not a good time to clear suctoms first thing in the morning. We finally departed at noon. The ocean state was not bad and winds just enough. We went south around Fiji. Two days later though, the seasickness held the triumph card. Sailing was good in general. Seas mostly from behind. A phantom storm which had no reason or explanation had us running for our lives with 50kn chasers. Fortunately it was a one night event. 
Some days were diamonds.
Other days were filled with crashers onboard.
Some days were gold.
Other days we dropped sails at night, anchorlight on and went to bed with the sleeping tradewinds.
More than 50% of the time we had glorious, fantastic, awesome sunrises and sunsets.  Asif we were starving, we ate and ate as much we could of our dried and special products to avoid OZ quarantine taking it off. Birdlife was sadly limited to the count of ten. None fish caught. Saw some flyingfish. 
Ended the voyage with a two day gale which was forcasted to be 20-30kn. However, we got the also forcasted 'could be 40% stronger' at 40-50kns. The very steep, high, furious and sickening seas, tried to pluck the mast off deck and in the process ripped the starboard front stay out from deck. We made landfall in Mackay, OZ, safely. 
(The repaired stay bolt) Please read the emotional experience of the voyage also.