|"Just" 400 miles of 24/7 sailing from Australia's Gold Coast to Pittwater, near Sydney. Leaving now for our last long passage on our Pearson 365 ketch sailboat after 4 1/2 years and ~20,000 miles, Atlantic - Pacific, the biggest ocean in the world.|
*I consider any passage that is at least an overnighter -- more than a day sail -- a long passage.
This passage is not that long, comparatively. It's "just" ~400 nautical miles (nm) from Australia's Gold Coast to Pittwater (near Sydney). We doubt we'll be further than 5-10 miles from shore the whole passage.
|Hiva Oa, French Marquesas, the destination after our longest passage - 32 days!!! No place ever smelled so sweet!|
Compare that to our longest passage - from Galapagos to French Marquesas, over 3,000 miles of open ocean with nothing but open ocean -- no islands anywhere -- in between. That took us over a month of 24/7 sailing with just the two of us on a small sailboat with about 150 square feet of living space. We limped into Hiva Oa, French Marquesas, with miles with tattered sails and a non-working engine.* In fact, we were towed in by dinghy -- thanks to Bob of Continuum and David of Anahata -- our last 2 miles, as the sun was setting and the wind was dying and we just wanted to drop anchor and rest.
*Engine was a relatively easy fix - limited fuel in an old, gummy and since replaced fuel tank kept fuel from reaching the engine. Easy to fix at anchor, that is - not under passage.
We feel incredibly lucky and even more grateful.
Not only have we seen some incredible places in the 30 countries we've sailed to, we've met fantastic folks everywhere we go.
- We never saw sustained winds of greater than 30 knots or seas greater than 4 meters.
- We never hit anything, unless you count coming in hot to a dock a time or three, or the times we were hit by charter boats who dragged at anchor (more than once) - no harm done to our sturdy boat.
- We only grounded a few times and all were gentle, a tiny bit of mud or sand, off in no time at all.
- There were very few times we were genuinely scared. They were brief. In the grand scheme of things, we survived with minimal (generally it was our sails that took the beating) or no damage. Not that there weren't a lot of boat repairs!
- The only place we were ever boarded was in Jacksonville Florida. We were never threatened. No "pirates" anywhere and nothing ever stolen from our boat.
|Cruising sometimes means boatwork in exotic places. Here, our all-time favorite stop, Fakarava, Tuamotus, French Polynesia.|
There is this last long passage, and our goal is to spend New Year's Eve watching the fireworks in Sydney Harbor, a fitting final bittersweet farewell with Journey. We've taken good care her (and is overdue her upcoming beauty treatment - coming up in Sydney), and she's taken good care of us.
We will be selling Journey with good memories, a clean conscience and great hopes her future owners love her as much or more than us and continue their journey with Journey, traveling awesome places together.
We are currently about to pull anchor from Australia's Gold Coast (a city - not a "coastline"), at Marine Stadium (S27.56.790 E153.25.424), Queensland territory.
Cruising By the Numbers
- Our November 2016 sail from New Caledonia to Australia, 790 miles
- Our September 2016 sail from Vanuatu to New Caledonia, 305 miles.
- Our August 2016 sail from Fiji to Vanuatu, 525 miles.
- We cruised just under 440 miles in Fiji, between late May and early August.
- Our May 2016 sail from New Zealand to Fiji, 1090 miles.
- December 2015 - May 2016 if we weren't cruising New Zealand or hunkering, we were making massive road trips from New Zealand's tip to its tail.
- From December 2014 - November 2015 we sailed from Northern Florida's Atlantic side to New Zealand, over 10,000 miles, with more than a few stops in between.
- December 2013 - May 2014 we sailed 1792 miles from Jacksonville Florida to the Bahamas and back.
- March 2012 we bought Journey in St. Lucia. September 2012 we moved aboard, did some boat work, then sailed her to Jacksonville Florida by June 2013, 3762 miles.
We’re on our way to Pittwater, near Sydney for pre-sale boat work, ~400 nautical miles. Weather may force us to stop along the way, though it looks like we finally got the a good weather window we were waiting for. Still a few final posts of New Caledonia and quite a few still to catch up on since we arrived in Australia on November 13, 2016.