Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ordinary things become exciting!

Rain, an ordinary thing...

If you know that rain is coming and you are in your usual routine, it tends not to be very interesting. If you haven't seen rain for months then it's a novel event. If you are out in a boat on the water, rain is inconvenient and perhaps a bit scary. But if you are sailing in the tropics and haven't seen rain for months and the water has been glowing a fabulous turquoise colour continuously, then rain and storms are very exciting.
Glenn was spellbound. He could smell the fresh dampness rolling into Nara Inlet. Clouds were visible a long way off to the south. He had consulted all of the standard weather sites, and also a new one to us: "Higgins: Storm Chaser". The dinghy was raised on the davits and secured, kayak and paddle board lashed to the deck, hatches closed and locked. And then we waited together in the cockpit. I had my camera ready. Glenn eyes were darting everywhere. Was that the low growl of thunder? What about lightning and the electrics onboard? Charter yachts began streaming into the anchorage, a safe haven in the southerly conditions. The sheet of grey rain moved towards us.

First of the season.

And then it was gone. I actually don't remember the rain, even though it did make things wet. The sun changed the sky, and everything turned sunset pink.

Did I miss something?

Make and model...generally an ordinary thing..

Now if you are in your usual routine and you have a new car, a weird thing might happen. You start to notice the same model as yours a lot more on the roads, or perhaps the same colour of your car everywhere. You may even get excited and honk your horn as you pass a driver who shares your own good taste. Yachties suffer from this to the extreme.

We have been looking out for Sea Trek III's sisters, Jack Savage designed Oceanic 46' yachts. We hadn't seen any, despite the 1,000s of yachts around us over the past months. They are Australia built, and we expected to find many up this way. We have identified Compass 28s, and South Coast 36s along our way. (our previous yachts designs).

While sitting in the shade on our back deck exchanging sailing dreams with the crew of Sagittae our eyes all fell upon a passing yacht. I read the ship's name and without hesitation began frantically waving some colourful straps in the air. It was Stylopora; the most famous of the Oceanic 46 yachts. She is a circumnavigator and the subject of the book " Here Be Dragons".

Apparently the new owners Di and Geoff are very used to strangers wanting to contact them as they sail past. They politely obliged and turned towards us. We toured each other's yachts, admiring and comparing features. Great excitement as we babbled about our story of how and when we found ST3., previously named Harita. Di was able to give us the names of three other Oceanic 42s and a 46.

A legend.
What Di and Geoff didn't know was that we had long been aware of the wonderful sailing qualities of the Oceanic 46' prior to our purchase of Sea Trek III. We have, over the years, read many of the articles by Don Gilchrist in "Cruising Helmsman" magazine about his travels in Stylopora. We knew that this was 'our' kind of yacht. I felt really privilege to have had the chance to spend time aboard. And we were able to look at a copy of the book "Here Be Dragons". (Thank you Finn).
Very lucky yachties: Di and Geoff
So what do new yachtie friends talk about: Plans and dreams and the best anchorages amongst other things. Highly valued by us all are the personal recommendations and mud maps of more remote areas. Swain Reef was the buzz with us.

Di animated about the Swains.

A mud map: highly prized.

We think that it was a most marvelous day...ordinary things that are special to us.

Thankyou for the feedback from 'anonymous' who suggested that we comment on what we thought of the anchorages visited. Glenn will undertake this over the next few weeks. We'll try to include this is future posts.





  1. Hi Jen & Glenn ,
    Have enjoyed reading the blog as I work away in Bawley , waiting for the day when I to can sail away . Haven't heard of any surf , so I will catch a few waves for you next session . Have to go , I have concrete to pour .
    Talk soon

  2. Hi guys,

    I gotta fess up, I am anonymous, if my year had been different I would have crossed paths with you up north, alas, life intervened with best laid plans etc... However, next year is the ONE! I am studying where people have enjoyed anchorages and where they felt it was over rated and hope to have a pile of enjoys as opposed to a pile of okays! (Yet another grand plan doomed to failure).

    Cheers and beers with beam winds, Kezza

  3. Beardy, great to hear from you. Good to see your keeping the economy moving! I have been sworn to secrecy on the surf. Look at YouTube and search surfing Great Barrier Reef. I hope my favourite little left hander where you have to walk along that very attractive beach still breaks. Don't wait too long to go sailing........


  4. Kezza,
    Working on that anchorage review, should be up within a week.

  5. Well hello, trying out your advice Jen, as I too had problems trying to reach you on this blog. Hope it works. Just back from Europe, sailing of a sorts! Well, maybe not to you true yachties.,. been river cruising on Danube. Been away all of September. Gret trip but as they say, "be it ever so humble, etc" Guess you feel that away about your yacht. Cheers for now D&D