Sunday, November 10, 2013

Australia at Last!

We've made it to AUSTRALIA!!! Our sailing adventure (at least this one) has officially come to an end. We've achieved our goal of sailing from San Francisco to Australia and we're alive, happy and healthy. Tears of huge relief, happiness and pride welled up in my eyes as my feet touched solid Australian ground for the first time. Chris and I hugged, did happy dances and then asked… 
"Can you believe we've sailed from San Francisco to Australia?"
The answer was always, "No"
Then we would hug, dance and repeat!

But, lets now start at where the last blogpost left off. Our friends, Atmo and Petra, were super kind in allowing us and all of our belongings to sail with them from New Caledonia to Australia. We were very excited to do a passage on a catamaran and have an easier night watch schedule with more people on board. 

We left in wonderful sailing conditions and saw turtles, whales and dolphins on our first day. Spirits were soaring!

The rest of our sail to Australia was a very mixed bag. We had a couple days of little to no wind, where we had to motor and/or constantly adjust the light air sails. We realized a big advantage of a cat is that you can easily sail downwind without using a big clumsy pole. Because a cat is so wide, sheets can be easily be lead to the toe rail instead, a much easier approach. During our light wind time, we jumped in the ocean to clean off and I had a glorious sunset yoga session while underway, a dream of mine I wasn't able to fulfill on our boisterous passages on Starship. Thank you sailing catamaran Elfrun!

Double headsail sailing without poles
First ever passage yoga
Swimming in big blue

We had a few days of extremely rough conditions, where we were beating into 30 knots of wind with 5m seas. These were some of the worst conditions we've ever been in and we learned that rough conditions suck no matter what boat you're in, mono or multi-hull, but just in different ways. The cat had the advantage of not heeling nearly as much as a monohull, but it's movement was very unpredictable. "Bombs" would often go off as waves slapped between the hulls, producing a horrible noise and causing shuttering and jerky movements we were not used to. I felt slightly less seasick because of the lack of heeling. Chris felt much more seasick because of the unpredictable movement of the catamaran.
You wouldn't know it from the picture, but this was taken during very rough conditions

The rest of our days on passage were pretty average for this South Pacific season, high winds and confused seas, but manageable. We slept a lot, read a lot, ate a lot of Petra's delicious vegetarian dishes, struggled through night watches, and saw some beautiful sunsets and rises.


Thank you so much to Atmo and Petra of Elfrun. They really were our lifesavers in our time of need and we will be eternally grateful. They gave us free range of half of their boat, their entire starboard hull. We used one cabin to store all our stuff and the other cabin for sleeping. They really made us feel at home and we appreciate them allowing us to use their SSB radio to transmit our daily "we're alive" emails to our parents, even when power was in limited supply.

After arriving, crying and checking into Australia, we proceeded to move all of our stuff off of Elfrun, onto land, into a huge taxi and into our friend Crystal's hotel room. Can you believe our luck that Crystal is in Brisbane for a few weeks, exactly when we arrive? And she's also kind enough to let us and all of our stuff stay with her until we figure out our next steps. Thank you so much my good
friend!
All of our stuff on Elfrun
All of our stuff in the taxi-van
Celebration Dinner! WE DID IT!
We look forward to exploring Australia for a few weeks and then making our way back to our beloved Canada. We'll keep you posted on the rest of our Aussie Adventures.

Click on the link for a few more pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/112298904949101747524/AustraliaAtLast

5 comments:

  1. Congratulations!!!! We know the exact feeling of 'We didn't really just do that, did we?!?!" You did! xox Sarah & Will

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  2. Started reading this blog a while back, picking it up as Starship began the puddle jump, but back tracked to when Starship departed San Francisco. Sorry to say goodbye as I've enjoyed following the adventure!

    Fair winds and following seas!
    -TC

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  3. Smile, smiles, smiles around the globe. Your hugs, dancing and celebrating was mirror imaged here in Canada. So extremely and indescribable proud of you TWO!!
    So very glad you achieved your goal!! All super well done my good kiddos. I cannot stop smiling. Hope that other mother hearts are as lucky as I was who had the most gentle tutor at my side aka G-Man.
    So happy your next adventure will be on Canadian soil and no computer images are necessary XOX Mama and Mutti



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  4. HELLO! I am friend of Atmo (the guy who turned him on sailing). Can someone here give me his email contact, since I cant reach him over sailmail anymore.

    Thanks for help!
    Gerd from S.Y. Liberty

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  5. Just to simplify, can you respond to my above question to: gfehlbaum@yahoo.com
    Thanks!

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