Take 5! It is now 4days since Monday when I decided the time had come to write the first post for our trip. I started at it that morning pulling in the photos from 4 other devices and then ran into trouble with iPad apps. The blogging app I had chosen didn't work when offline and kept on crashing and losing all I had written. So it was back to the laptop. This meant transferring all the photos again. After using the iPad for so long now going back to the laptop was a pain. As much as I dislike Apple they are good.

Seriously grumpy I decided to phone a friend and got Spence on the job researching other blogging apps. Feeling better after lunch (nothing like food to cheer up an Allen) In the afternoon I tried one other freebie app but it too was useless offline. Monday night I was finally satisfied that the “Blogsy” App might do the job and next morning Spence confirmed it to be one of the top 2 choices. So I spent $5.50 for the app and had another go.

It was a rainy day here in Sugarloaf Bay, Middle Harbour, Sydney on Monday but Tuesday saw the sun reappear. We have had some sensational weather. This Wednesday afternoon we are racing in a Sydney 36 with Middle Harbour Yacht Club thanks to our new friend Heather. Anyway, more of that later. Back to the beginning

The plan was an early March departure with a few nights onboard at Paynesville, after locking up the house, to settle in on the boat and say goodbye to everyone. If we had forgotten anything we could nip home to grab it. The reality was a mad last minute rush to finish Lea's shop renovation, get immunised, catch up up with everyone. As usual the weather window had crept forward.


Gerry and Sandy joined us for this first leg and we left Paynesville as a 30 knot front went through. It was a quick and rough trip to Lakes Entrance but it moderated quickly and we fuelled up then pulled into Flagstaff Jetty to check the bar. We joined John and Karen from Esoterica to walk over to the lookout. We all agreed it was a bit rough so decided to wait, have dinner and check the bar again at dusk.


At dusk the bar had quietened but was still a little choppy. However, we all agreed it was ok to go. Esoterica went first and got across ok, we followed and all was well until in the final stage as the water began to deepen a large wave stood up and broke right over us. Water poured over the decks and saturated all the crew and some water found its way inside. In hindsight I think we were a bit complacent, the saloon door and window will now be closed for all bar crossings. Anyway, no harm was done so we cleared the bar and raised sail into a 15-20 knot SW. We took off at 7-8knots with a double reefed main and genoa. It was very bumpy and the wind only lasted a couple of hours. This was disappointing as, from the forecast, we expected to have good breeze all night. Sandy and I ended up sea sick. I had tried Dramamine instead of my usual Stugeron. No good.

We reached Point Hicks, motor-sailing, before the sea state started to settle and I could do a watch. Even Gerry had felt a bit off early on. Mind you, non of us had been to sea for year. Lea, as usual, had no problem. It was dark, damp and a tough night for Sandy's first offshore passage but she didn't complain. I was depressed and angry about being incapacitated by sea sickness once again. Its my biggest worry on the trip to over to New Caledonia. However, since that night I have been much better on our passages and haven't needed any drugs at all recently so hopefully I will be ok.

We rounded Gabo Island at daylight and pulled into Bittangabee at lunch time.

We had a walk ashore and later John and Karen joined us for happy hour but we all retired to bed early.
I have the blog up to date now but the file was too big to upload. So I now have to break it up into smaller chunks. The whole business has been very frustrating but I will get it sorted.