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Old 14-10-2014, 18:10   #1
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Location: Maitland N.S.W. Australia
Boat: Clipper Mk II , 17 ft fractional rigged sloop
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1st and 2nd blue water crossings

flew to Samoa ,joined up with Del on the Chiara Stella , a 40 ft steel cutter, and sailed her to Port Villa Vanuatu the wind was south east mostly, so it was on our port stern with a 2 meter swell. lovely sailing spotted two ships while on watch ,1st being a fishing boat ,the AIS didn't show him so I think he didn't want anyone knowing where he was fishing , the second one was a war ship near the west coast off Fiji he too did not wish to advertise where he was . on the 9th day we did our only jibe so as to line up Port Villa .Del suggested there were boats coming through Port villa looking for crew south, as cyclone season was near ,so I posted a crew available sign on the marina post board .Phil and 1st mate Craig on the boat Different Drummer was looking for crew to New Zealand and took me on saying we would be punching into the wind all the way ,so my thoughts on sailing may change during this voyage . 8 days out all good, the passage is rougher than the tail winds but quiet bearable , than we hit the low pressure systems, it got cold, rains and winds up to 40 Knots, seas 5 to 6 meters. time to really hang on tight 2 days of this and I was glad to see New Zealand come over the horizon we tacked many times coming into the Bay of Islands ,head winds all the way ,got close to Opua when the winds dyed down in the lee side of the island and we motored the last 10 miles , tyred but happy, it was midnight when we docked at the quarantine area ,cracked opened some drinks to celebrate the successful crossing . So covered 2,500 nautical miles in 24 sailing days has been a great adventure for me ,hope to do more .thanks to Del ,Phil , and Craig for taking me on to crew for them , it was great



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Old 15-10-2014, 07:34   #2
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Re: 1st and 2nd blue water crossings

Congratulations, you are getting experience in one of the best manners. The more different boats that you sail on (and different skippers) will make your decisions on a future boat for yourself ( If that is your plan) much easier. Gaining experience and miles with someone elses investment is great. ________Grant.

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Old 15-10-2014, 07:57   #3
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Boat: Valiant 40
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Re: 1st and 2nd blue water crossings

Sounds like two great trips.

Don't ever be surprised by ships that don't use AIS, or even respond to repeated hails on VHF. I've had more than a few close encounters with freighters and tankers that never responded and kept their course, one in the middle of the night while hove to in 40+ knots of wind and intense lightning. Had to finally kick on the iron genny and scoot out of their path. Not fun. Always assume, in terms of your watch and your interactions with ships, that they won't change course and it's up to you to avoid a close encounter.
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Old 15-10-2014, 15:04   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Maitland N.S.W. Australia
Boat: Clipper Mk II , 17 ft fractional rigged sloop
Posts: 124
Re: 1st and 2nd blue water crossings

thanks gjordan it was a interesting trip, great learning experience , and yes I do intend to buy a similar boat as the Chiara Stella .
yes suijin I spotted a large cruise ship on the horizon at night on our starboard bow .at first he appeared to be moving down our starboard side ,as he grew in size I realized he was on an converging path to ours.
so I called the skipper up. he called the ship to tell them we were 1.5 nautical miles to there port bow ,they had no idea we were there .they focused there radar on our location to see us . they maintained course and speed ,so we would pass behind them . all good in the end but a real eye opener to me
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Old 15-10-2014, 21:51   #5
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Location: Somewhere on Australia's east coast.
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Re: 1st and 2nd blue water crossings

Sounds like you had fun there Jimmy. I did the run from Newcastle (Aus) to Lyttleton (Christchurch, NZ) with Del last December, and have nothing but good things to say about him and Chiara Stella. Great learning experience.
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