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Thread: 5 Capes Sailing: Corona Free

  1. #1
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    5 Capes Sailing: Corona Free


    April 14

    So THIS article hit the internet yesterday on Yahoo Lifestyle and the ShoreTeam has been overwhelmed with all the comments and responses! Bertís gone viral! We went from 700 followers to 3800 overnight! The article is great and really captures the spirit of Bertís adventure.

    Thank you to all the new supporters and to those who have been with Bert since the beginning

    Iíve been sharing the highlights with Bert on our routine check ins and he is so thankful for all the positivity and support. He is about 90 days from home and about to face a 3 day tropical storm.

    Bert does NOT have access to the Internet so all his social media is posted by the Seaburban Shore Team but I assure you he is very appreciative of the kindness shown and the interest in his adventure!

    https://www.yahoo.com/Ö/bert-terhart...elf-isolationÖ

    ***********************************************


    April 15


    First Light

    First light gave me some idea of what we had been up against all night. I would have preferred the sun never rose.

    The ostrich in me wanted to beat a retreat back to my bunk. Apprehensive would be understating my feelings. The secondary northerly swell looked to pound anything in its path as it sped across the faces of the large and confused primary westerly swell. Large breaking crests foamed the horizon white and for the first time I can remember there were no birds. I was utterly alone.

    I had been saving a 2kg bag of almonds and another of raisins for the turn north and home once in the Pacific or as emergency rations. Whichever came first. Without hesitation, I stumbled and groped my way to the locker containing both, opened them both and refilled the long empty smaller containers labeled Almonds and Raisins. I figured better in me than in the hole.

    The waves are forecast to get bigger still and the wind stronger. Saints preserve us.

    If I could get going faster I would. Or rather when on deck I'll try. The cloud in the pictures is towering cumulus and at their bases the wind is gusting 45+. The sail that would have us going well in the prevailing conditions is far too much in the all too frequent severe gusts. I have not yet chanced upon the happy medium.

    Meanwhile, almonds and raisins never tasted so good.

    ************************************************** ***


    April 17th


    Leftovers

    This is what's leftover after this morning's cold front's final hurrah. These were taken after the swell and wind waves had gone down and I was brave enough to take the iPad into the cockpit.
    Make no mistake: I am not anxious to see these same conditions any time soon. To say I was not frightened would be untrue. It is OK to be scared s***less. You just can't be scared witless.
    Last night when I could not get the Monitor to hold a course and we were being swept by the breaking seas, I could think of nothing else but the forecast increase in swell and wind wave. What then? What options then? I could only think of laying to a drogue or warps p, both poor options as they would cost us time and only serve to expose us on the low following close astern.
    With Seaburban basically hove to as the Monitor air blade flailed uselessly in the gale force winds, I set an alarm for 90 minutes and tried to sleep. I was woken by a breaking wave smashing our starboard side, shredding part of the nav station companionway dodger and pouring after down the companionway hatch. It was time to do something. Anything but this.

    Dressed and outside predawn, the cockpit well swirling with water, I realized the Monitor need not steer. I can steer. I didn't need to steer long, just long enough for the wind to shift to the Southwest. Facing backwards to watch the waves catch us up, I stepped into the well and with water up to my knees, brought Seaburban's stern to face the wind and whatever swell or wave came our way. Seven hours later, I stepped out and set the Monitor to steer a course due East.

    I may be many things, but I know I am persistent. And persistence pays.


    ************************************************** ***



    April 19th


    The only warning of what is to come is the perfect weather. The model forecast is calling for 40 knots and 10-11m seas. The sun and diamond splashed sea are a cruel joke played by the South Tasman Sea on unsuspecting folk from the Northern Hemisphere.

    The main is once again storm-lashed and the deck secured for heavy weather. Same down below the only difference being I didn't have to do anything down below. I never got a chance to return things back to normal. I am getting the sense that I need a new standard for normal.

    Once clear of South East Cape, the strategy is to head Northeast and seek a bit of shelter in the lee of the Tasmanian land mass. Heading East somewhat in the lee of Tasmania should keep me out of the largest seas and strongest winds South and East of Tasmania.

    For now, it's fingers crossed that the forecast models have the low chasing me move further South and/or moderate. Both might be too much to hope for.

    Once more into the breach. The Tasman wants one last kick at the can. We, if there was any doubt, are that can.


    https://www.the5capes.com/
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    South Cape On The Horizon



    Rhumb Line

    Once again we are on a direct course to The Traps and Snares and the shallow bank that guards the southern approaches to Stewart Island. Just beyond these hazards lies South Cape.

    It is a rough ride as we lurch along in the building swell from the west and last nights leftovers. Today will be a repeat of yesterday with what I hope will be somewhat milder conditions. Milder is relative in these parts as yesterday handed out 35 knot gales and 45+ knot gusts in hard driven rain that pricked like needles on any exposed skin.




    Knock on wood and scratch a mast, we'll pass under South Cape tomorrow after some 182 days at sea. Where did the days go? Have I been out here that long? Can I really have sailed close to 20,000 miles to get here? And where exactly is here? The Capes are nothing more than pencil lines on a plotting sheet. We pass sight unseen. Unnoticed.

    It isn't sinking in, but it is percolating.

    https://www.the5capes.com/
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Passing The South Cape


    April 29th, 2020

    A Rat...

    We chase the sun Northeast over a gray sea. A few days from now, northerly gales will stymy any efforts at gaining latitude.

    My brother Jan, always in the present and mindful, reminded me this morning that the ocean cares nothing of accomplishment. His words were more succinct, directly to the point, and involved a rat's hindquarters if you get my meaning. I think it was the pilot in him speaking. Whatever voice, he was and is absolutely correct.

    My focus is on what I must do now and what is in my immediate future. The Capes are past. The gale ahead. Winter approaches.



    We pushed hard to clear South Cape ahead of severe gales chasing us astern. It was worth the effort as now we have options, limited though they might be. Had I not pushed, we would have none. How best to spend out hard-earned advantage is now the question.

    I would wager that question in its many forms is one of the best you could ever ask. How best indeed to spend your hard-earned advantage? Out here, the answer is far simpler to figure than it would be at home. Here, there is only wind and wave and sail. At home, there is so much more.

    I will miss the beautiful, exquisite simplicity of it all. But I long for the complexities I left behind so many months ago. We go Northeast as fast as I can make us go.


    ********************

    April 28th 2020






    At 1815 local, UTC+11, I passed under New Zealand's South Cape. It was, of course and fittingly so, blowing a gale and gusting more with miserable seas coming from three different directions. In other words, perfect Southern Ocean sailing conditions.

    All 5. I am lucky beyond measure. I will need a good deal more to go my way yet as the entire expanse of the Pacific Ocean awaits as does hurricane season in both hemispheres and the onset of winter in the in Roaring Forties. There is much work to do and if it doesn't get done, all 5 capes will end up a footnote somewhere.

    It feels different. Before there were strings pulling me to this place and the four others. Now the only strings I feel are all pulling me home. How strange now to be 'going home'. Until just a few moments ago, I wasn't going anywhere near. And after coming all this way, the Pacific seems a puddle.

    I cannot wait to see the dawn. A new Ocean. A new path. A new beginning. Home.

    https://www.the5capes.com/
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  4. #4
    Bummer on his halyard breaking!

  5. #5
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    End Around: 40 Knot Winds Dictate The Route




    Forced West by 40 knot gales we're attempting an end around the low that is forecast to move slowly southward and end up exactly where I am now. It is generally considered a very bad idea within the sailing community to try and occupy the same space as a low pressure system bent on your destruction. The picture here is of Seaburban running almost dead down wind in 40+ knots and 7+ meter seas.

    We actually only have one choice. The only variable is how fast we go. Right now, we're going as fast as steering allows. If the swell loses a bit of bite, we can add some canvas and go faster. Until then, we're slow and at the mercy of the breaking waves.

    In the last 24 hours, the low that is blocking any move north, east, or south has been forecast by the weather models to be in 3 different places doing 3 different thingss. Tough to plan around a moving target.

    But we do have moderating conditions. And that means we're much better off than last night when our options were dwindling to 1 and then none. Sailors like options. It's like money in your mattress. Banks as I'm sure you know, have been known to fail. Much like the weather models.


    Follow my tracks in real-time: https://bit.ly/svseaburban
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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    Reward Enough

    The last four days have been trying to say the very least. Trying in the context of the most difficult few days so far. At 8pm local, we were sailing in 35 knots, often sustained 40 plus and gusts 45 plus with breaking waves washing over the whole boat. I stopped looking after I saw 45 thinking that if I saw anything more, my resolve to continue northward would be blown away with the some and spray filing the air.

    All afternoon conditions had been worsening and I was continually being pushed westward. I desperately needed North and East to get into a position where the wind might, and I say might, go Southwest and eventually West allowing me to go North and East. That was the plan, and at 8 last night, the plan wasn't looking very good. Being stubborn helps. But there comes a time when stubborn begets stupid. I was feeling on the stupid side of stubborn watching the waves cream us a-beam.

    At 4am this morning, the wind had veered. We were headed North. At 5, there was no wind. At 6 we were headed North by East. It would seem the plan put into place some four days ago may yet succeed.

    Feeling battered and bruised, this sunrise was reward enough. I don't trust the wind. Me thinks there's more in the mix. For now, however, we're celebrating small successes and getting to this point is most certainly that.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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