Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Locked In

First night in Darwin, arrived with the high tide at 8.30 this morning. Thanks to Tony Sommerville, another ex-Rockinghamite and David Omness from Darwin Sailing Club who kindly ventured out in a boat at 6.30 this morning in order to get me through the lock into Bayview Marina. I've never seen a lock before and it was an interesting experience. Just a recap on the last few days as I haven't had a good satellite phone connection to be able to update the blog. Three nights ago I had a ship come on the radar about 3AM, their usual time to visit, this was a bit different in that it was coming from the north heading towards me. Every time I altered course it followed me and I was starting to think that maybe it was pirates coming to do a raid. Armed with my mate Mal's leatherman that he left on the boat in Townsville, I was ready to take them on! I hope you can picture me with a leatherman in my good right hand ready for the fight. I radioed to see what their intentions were with no response. They still drew closer. I then turned the deck light on so I was completely visible and a minute later I had a call on the radio and it was just a customs boat trying to sneak up on me. I had quite a few encounters with customs or marine patrol boats all the way across, its actually good to see the north of the country under a very watchful eye.

I also seemed to always have the company of a dolphin over the past two days, quite a small species. A couple of nights ago with the full moon I was sitting on deck and it leapt out of the water a few times, really high, right in front of the moon. It was as if it was staged, quite beautiful to be out there watching it.

The final part of the trip into Darwin had yet another surprise in store. Going past Bathurst Island, I hooked into a tidal flow that was running with me, but against an opposing wind. Went flying down the side of Bathurst Island at times doing over 8 knots but with an absolutely out of control sea state. Waves rolling over the boat from bow to stern, it was just like going the wrong way up rapids really fast. It was a one hour thrill ride I'll never forget!

Will do a blog in the next couple of days with my plans for the next leg. I have to have a rethink on how I tackle it as the situation with wind against current in these northern areas is extremely taxing on myself as well as the boat. In fact, there were times when I wished I was back in the Southern Ocean and I never thought I'd say that. I probably had only four hours sleep in the last two days out there.


  1. Re. Kevin's response: I couldn't agree more. Haul your sorry arse out of the jacuzzi, lay off the gin slings, forget the tan and get serious about your blog Jamie. I mean really, it's not like you've got anything better to do. How hard is it to swan around the Coral Sea writing odes to a porpoise!!

  2. Glad you are resting, take care.Viv

  3. Hi Jamie,

    I am so jealous of your 'dolphins leaping out of the water in front of the moon' experience.

    Thanks for another great read my brave and wonderful hero.

    Hugs kisses and best wishes.

  4. Jamie in answer to GUTLESS Kevin and Anonymous I found it very upsetting that individuals like themselves who have probably never done a decent thing in their life for anybody would write such garbage. The two of them should wheel in Jamie's shoes and see how hard it is for him on a daily basis on land, let alone on sea. How dare you write such garbage. And by the way the Sponsors get their monies worth. I bet you have not gone to the top of the page to donate to this special person. Jamie is just trying to get the word out there, that you can achieve anything, even if you are in a wheel chair or just sitting around at home feeling hopeless. Just read the earlier comments from the residents of the Dalkeith Nursing Home, they just love hearing about him, they do not care if it is not every day, but are really happy when they do hear. That is when he gets the time to blog. The both of you are MORONS. Go do something with your life rather than depending on Jamie's blogs.
    Support the Spirit don't knock it.
    Jamie keep up the good work, take care, stay safe. We love you. Mum Dad and Family

  5. Jamie, I was very upset to read a couple of the comments posted. I remember you when you helped my son in Rockingham when you started Sail into Life. He had nothing in his life, until you introduced him to sailing in the little access dinghy's. "Thank You" for all the work you did with him. Thank you for just being you. Keep up the good work, we are following your journey, do not listen to the negative people that surround us, maybe it makes them feel uncomfortable when someone like yourself shows them that you are just as capable as they are, actually even better.

    God bless you and keep you safe.

    Love from Lorna and family Rockingham

  6. Hi Jamie, We are so sorry we missed you in Darwin. We left 7am Tuesday could not believe it when we received a text message telling us you had arrived, after we had moved on. We would have loved to be there to welcome you into Darwin. Never mind will have to wait for Rockingham. It was great to catch up in Airlie Beach. Keep up the good work, we are thinking of you. Love Helen and Don (Rockingham)

  7. Dear Jamie, I am thinking of you and pray you will be safe for the rest of your journey.
    Thank you for your news. Love Tess, Melbourne.

  8. Dear Jamie
    We are proud that you have go to Darwin. Take no notice of the knockers life is to short. Keep on sailing and make your dreams a reality. Love Susie and Reg.

  9. Hey Jamie Sheenagh here again getting myself psyched up for the second winter race on Sunday going to be around 5 so cooler on the water.
    I love your stories they are from the heart unlike the controlled ones of another well known sailor this year. I never realised how amazing the tides are the struggle you have with them sounds scary but exciting. Keep up your spirits it's just amazing what you are doing It gives me hope that I will be brave enough to do this in the next 5 years but not on my own I could not do that. You are such an inspiration keep going we will have a wee dram for your finish down here. Best wishes from all sailors from tassie

  10. Hey Jamie,
    The comments from Gutless Kevin and Annonymous what a load of C..P. Your mum and dad rock!!!Great comments and I support them all. Some poor people do not get it, "life is precious, celebrant it". Jamie, well done, enjoy your rest in Darwin with Jo and Bella and I will be following your every step of the way home.
    Cathie & Pete

  11. G'day Jamie,
    Good to see you have made Darwin safely.
    Not that far realy now from Darwin down the WA coast and home to Rocky.
    Take it easy in Darwin and knock back a stubbie or two (Darwin stubbie that is).
    All the best look forward to you're next blog.
    Ric (in Adelaide).

  12. Hi Jamie

    Great to hear you are in Darwin.I am so enjoying my trip around Australia through your blogs,just fantastic.In fact I think you have made it such fun I may ask you to do it all over again. I've always wanted to know about the pacific,what do you think?Only joshin.Enjoy Darwin and sleeping for more than an hour at a time.