Australia · 19 Days · 19 Moments · September 2017

Darwin to Sydney by sea

13 October 2017

So the boat is now safe at berth back in Darwin. I spent the week prepping the boat for road or sea freight to the east coast however after a week of work and speaking with a bunch of people including the previous owner I am seriously considering spending a little time prepping her for a second attempt but this to,e with a motorboat skipper and not a yachmaster. That coupled with a little more preparation and I think second rebound will be a success. We encountered spring tides and a few of the locals said we probably left two or three weeks too early. Never the less it is what it is, and we certainly sea trialled her over 6 days. I'm back in Sydney for a week at least but the adventure continues. PS. Yes that is the flybridge arch on the swim deck. Removed in prep for Or road trip that is now not happening due to height. She is 6.3m on the truck so it looks like bridge and radar is going back up. It is only a 3 hour job.

6 October 2017

A little fishing on way back to Darwin

3 October 2017

So they call it boating adventures for a reason. We got into Gove two days back and have decided not to press on to avoid the east coast seas. Our unfamiliarity with the boat and a couple of minor matters and not having the benefit of running the boat for a few months before taking to sea have brought us to the decision to turn back to Darwin and truck her down to Newcastle. The whole purpose is to get the boat safely and unstressed down to Port Hacking so this is the best option. We have had a great couple of days coming to the Gulf of Carpentaria and now 60 miles out of Gove on our 430 mile trip back to Darwin. All going well, we passed through 'The Hole in the Wall' and set course for our next waypoint 196nm away. Now it's time for chicken wraps for lunch. I am happy with the decision, as I said the objective is to get the boat to Sydney not to send her on a sea trial. We will be back in Darwin Saturday and will start prepping the boat for road transport in 2 weeks.

2 October 2017

3pm 27 hours underway making good progress. Did a fuel exchange from barrels to boat tankers at 2am this morning and again at 1pm today to remove the weight off the stern. Boat riding well at 8 to 9 knots varying rpm between 1300rpm and 1400rpm. Trim tabs have smoothed out the boat and given us a little extra speed for he same power Crew working well together, a couple hours sleep between watches and plenty of duties in between, checking engines, securing he boat. Entry 5:30pm Presently heading for Stevens Island 15hrs away which lines us up for assessing passage through the rip which is a narrow gap between two islands the call 'The hole in the wall'
The passage through the 'Hole in the Wall' planned for mid day tomoz.

1 October 2017

Making diner
Half a glass of red with spaghetti meatballs and cheese bread
Stowing the anchor bridle
Hourly engine checks all ok. Now running two hourly checks for noise changes, oil and water, temp sensing dipping fuel tanks etc
At the helms

27 September 2017

5am on morning of departure. Sea trials yesterday went well, took on 2600 litres of fuel including an extra 1000 in 5x200 litre drums. Anchor and windlass tested ok, however our desalinator doesn't want to desalinate. It's making all the right noises but not producing the goods. We will work on it underway and top up our 750 litres of fresh water at ports when we fuel. We don't need desal for the trip. Spike the skipper has plotted our course to Gove including passage though the 'hole in the wall' which I'll detail later. Snitz and I are off to get last minute supplies and drop the rental car back at first light. We have an 11am departure through the lock booked. Here are a couple of pics from past month of preparing.
My dinning room each night. I have a rental car but I work from 5am to 7pm each day so a shower and stumble to the out door marina bar for a steak and beer. The publican and his wife are great, they wander around the place sitting down drinking beer with the patron. Her name is Kitty and he is Mulga, as in Banjo Patterson's "Mulga Bill', great hosts. Their Tomahawk Steak in the best. 16 beers on tap and in this climate you can drink every one of them.....
All ready. Almost ready. Waiting on the life raft which shipped from Brisbane to Darwin via Adelaide. Yep Adelaide. I'm assured it will be here tomorrow, Friday. I'll go postal at the depot if it's not here. It's the only thing that will delay departure. I'm going out tomorrow morning to get a couple of meters of raw water cooling hoses, just to add to the ten zillion spares just in case. Everything is about just in case. I pick up the firs mate at 1.30pm tomoz and then the skipper and two other crew at midnight. We are taking th boat our for a run across the bay Darwin with the former to test a few last things, get fuel and give the crew a run before we head off at first light Sunday 1 October. I spoke with the lock master today and booked a departure through the lock for 10am Saturday and tentative 6am for Sunday, we will leave at the end of the fishing and working boats that leave each morning. Cleaned her outside last thing today. A three hour job. Beer and steak now!

25 September 2017

At Sydney airport waiting for delayed departure due to national radar network trouble. 9:45am is now 1pm departure. Planned route is Depart Darwin Sunday morning 1 October 2017 through the lock from Cullen Bay Marina Darwin. Tides are up to 7m around these parts so marinas are best protected behind lock gates. Darwin to Gove (Nhulunbuy) which is on the north west tip of the Gulf of Carpentaria in Arnhem Land. That's 2 days travel at 8knots funning 24hrs a day. Fuel burn is estimated to be 35-40L per hour. We have 3000 litres of diesel onboard. As a safeguard we will take on an extra 1000 litres in 5x200 litre plastic fuel drums in the cockpit. We take on 2000-2500 litres of fuel at Gove at 8am Tuesday 3 October. This leg take us through the islands and a narrow passage called "The hole in the wall". Stay tuned for updates. Then Gove to Thursday Island at the tip of Cape York. A straight 420 mm run across the gulf taking 2 days. Fuel, then down through the Great Barrier Reef.
At Sydney airport waiting for delayed departure due to national radar network trouble. 9:45am is now 12noon departure. Gives me plenty of time to add to the operating procedures I am writing
Well the journey starts. Bringing home the recent purchase: a Carver 530 Voyager. The acquisition of the boat was not about spending the kid's inheritance (there is plenty left for them) but rather buying a place where childhood life memories can be made and life long aspirations can be fulfilled. I lost a few old mates this year and know a few younger people who are sick and I personally have had a few big hits in the last few years such that now to be able to cap a life well lived with something as fantastic as this is a blessing I have grabbed with both hands. The older you get the more you realise life is not about things but about experiences. This thing is simply a way to create and share great life experiences for me, my family and my friends.