Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Round One

Yes, the tracker does not lie, I did come in at Albany on Tuesday afternoon after the most challenging sail I have had in my life. I caught the edge of the storms that hit Perth and had it classified a natural disaster zone. My weather forecasting did not predict these conditions, everyone was caught by surprise including me. It certainly tested myself and the boat. I managed to fix a few problems that had arisen. I had to get up on the foredeck three times to sort out knots in the jib sheets, they were that tight I had to pull them apart with my teeth. I started to make good ground after passing Cape Leeuwin. Then I found water in the side compartments that was sloshing out over the whole middle of the cabin. It was getting worse and I realised I would have to bite the bullet and go into Albany. And that is when the fun began! Basically I then had a three day slog into a 30 to 40 knot sou easterly, bashing into it all the way. Yet again Spirit proved to be a tough little ship, sometimes launching off waves and coming down with an absolute smash. The boat was constantly pounded by king waves going over the top. One particular wave felt like the boat was dropped from a 20 story building. As it fell I went airborne and was up against the ceiling of the cabin. I must have looked like spiderman! When the boat hit the bottom of the wave the jar was that hard that it smashed the toilet in the front of the boat and these conditions stayed the same all the way until I entered King George Sound at Albany. I was quite battered and bruised when I got in but no major damage. Darren, the shipwright at Emu Point in Albany, has successfully found a number of leaks in Spirit in both the deck and one of the water tanks and is able to seal them up. Luck was on my side in finding Darren, not only a world class shipwright but also a wealth of knowledge with thousands of sea miles of solo sailing under his belt. Because of Darren, the boat will actually be in a better condition than when I left Rockingham. Once a new toilet is installed she will be ready to go and I anticipate being able to continue the journey in around one to two weeks time, depending on a favourable weather pattern to get me safely to Hobart.


  1. Jamie,
    Well done getting to Albany, fantastic, I can just imaging you glued to the ceiling like spiderman.Did you dodge the hail stones!! Never seen anything like it up here, I was driving in it and have some imprtessive dents in my beautiful old red BMW.
    I reckon your toilet blew up in protest!

  2. Hey Jamie
    Congratualtions on getting to albany, even with a busted loo!!!. I can imagine you stuck to the ceiling like spiderman.
    Will be keeping up with your progress and wish you well, go for it
    Cathie Gallagher

  3. Its interesting story! :-)

  4. Jamie,I am having a problem with getting my comments to you. I am not really good with this blog stuff. Congratualtions you re amZING AND i AM VERY PROUD OF YOU. Well done. I will keep on chenking your progress as you continue your voyage.
    Lots a love Cathie Gallagher

  5. Hi Jamie,
    I met you while you were working on your boat at the MG Kailis boat yard in fishing boat harbour. I wish you all the best for your journey and hope the rest of the sail around the rock is a little less action packed.
    Good luck and keep an eye out for the Pink Lady as you sail across the bite.
    Pete Tate

  6. Hi Jamie, I've just seen an article about you on the Yachting WA newsletter and wanted to say congratulations and good luck for your trip - hope it all goes well for you! I hope all those hours of hard work in the gym and pool have paid off for you!! You're a great inspiration for so many people (me included), and I'm sure your trip will have a powerful effect on many lives. Best wishes, Jacinta Downey (Ascend Physiotherapy)

  7. wow sounds like u had a hard time.i live in safety bay & we didnt get the wind as bad as other places or any hale.i admire your courage & determination, should b more people like u in this world. there r so many pathetic people out there whinging about nothin!! i havent sailed down that way so its great 2 hear & see how your going.i hope your next leg goes better than your first. i wish u all the luck, well done, u definetly inspire me.

  8. Jamie,
    What's the hurry?
    You have a good boat and this is not a race.
    No need to smash into headwinds when off shore.
    30 - 50 - 100 Nautical Miles / day are all OK.
    Snug down and heave too for comfort, if there
    is room. Bad weather comes and goes.
    Look after yourself every day and don't run
    your internal batteries low.
    Keep something in reserve for land falls.
    I think you can do it.

  9. Yo Mucka,

    Or are you Chucka, or Sucka, or Hucka?... Anyway...Cheers from Carl :) Hope you're making way on a good pace.

    Carl Strahle

  10. Hi Jamie,
    It's your cousin Rohan & Bern from Ocean Grove.Just wanted to wish you well on your endevour and that we are thinking of you.We have great memories of our time with you in WA(our Kombi hippy trip around Oz) as you will forge your own fantastic memories of this amazing journey!! All the best mate.
    Love Rohan, Bern, Ethan, Gemma & Milla Bell.