Jill Carter's Diary & Photo Gallery
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Elevation's World Cruising Adventure
Jill & Paul embarked on their world cruise in April 2010. Jill has kept a wonderful cruising diary on the web.
Click here to read about Elevation's world crusing adventure »
Maiden voyage from Pittwater to Fremantle in our new Buizen 48 "Elevation"
Day 1 (21/3/07)
We departed from Heron Cove Marina @ 6.53am, just as the sun was rising. There had been a spectacular thunderstorm in the area on Monday evening and the result created a humidity haze across Pittwater. Calm waters, no wind, and a little mist created a very picturesque view for our final sail in these waters (well for @ least 5 years !). A marlin was jumping in the water @ Barrenjoey Head - a new sight for all of us on board and very exciting !! We had a pod of six dolphins dancing across the bow just by North Head for a good 20 minutes. How great !!! Very little wind so have been motor sailing for the majority of the day and overnight. We had been told that the Tasman Sea was renowned for being unpredictable, however other than a little swell, it's been very pleasurable. Spent most of the day playing with our electronics and getting to know Elevation - she is a very comfortable sea boat and it's a pleasure to be starting this epic journey home.
Day 2 (22/3/07)
An uneventful evening overall for the guys (@ this stage I'm not required to do any night watches - but I do get to feed everyone, and they are a hungry bunch of men!). Winds again in N/NE direction and to ensure that we meet our timetable for getting home, we again motored for several hours. Slight wind change occurred around 16.00 hours so we are finally having the opportunity to have a reasonable sail. Elevation cuts through the water beautifully and we are managing to achieve an average of 6 knots under sail. Travelling overnight, we managed to achieve 10knots and the decision was made to bypass Eden and continue southwards whilst the opportunity to sail was there.
Day 3 (23/3/07)
The day was glorious and we were blessed to be able to see a small pod of pilot whales, a seal sunning himself on the ocean's surface and a variety of birdlife. As we entered Bass Strait , we were greeted by a large pod of bottlenose dolphins (18-24 in total) who spent @ least 45 minutes entertaining us; dancing @ the bow, leaping in front of the boat and surfing the waves behind us - just magical !! During the night however, the weather changed and we spent an uncomfortable night working our way slowly SW. Dale and Peter, our able crew, were cautious and opted to zigzag along. Paul, however, has enormous confidence in the capabilities of Elevation and was prepared to take the weather on. Amazingly, he was totally correct in his belief and we started to make some good distance.
Day 4 (24/3/07)
A shocking day weather wise and a very unpleasant sail, but Elevation handled the conditions magnificently. Wind gusts to 47 knots experienced and we made the decision to head for shelter in Refuge Bay (Wilsons Promontory). We motored for 4.5 hours @ full speed, battling 4-6 metre swells. The good news is that Elevation showed she is able to handle any weather condition easily !! We arrived @ Refuge Bay at 21.35 and happily had our first hot drink of the day, then showered and had dinner. The guys had done a superb job in guiding us into the bay and everyone was clearly very pleased with the way Elevation has performed.
Day 5 (25/3/07)
Everyone awoke feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. We tidied the boat, had some breakfast and made plans to head to Port Philip Bay in order to hole up whilst the next Low comes through Bass Strait . Saw a large school of tuna in the entrance to the bay, with countless birds taking the opportunity for a meal. Chris Isaak on the CD player, sun shining .. what better way to head for our next destination. Very chilly out on deck; we really are @ the southern most point of our continent. Winds to 30 knots overnight and we saw the sun rise as we made our way into the heads. The tide created a churning cauldron as we headed into Port Philip Bay , but again, Elevation handled the conditions magnificently.
Day 6 (26/3/07)
We arrived @ Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron to learn that there were no fuelling facilities. As we were conscious of topping up on diesel (there's still a long way to go to Fremantle, and we need to be prepared for any circumstance) we arranged to collect fuel @ Queenscliff. Port Philip Bay is unusual in that there are no club fuelling facilities, very unlike both Perth and Sydney waters. We headed back across Port Philip Bay to the fishing boat harbour @ Queenscliff and waited for the tanker to arrive with additional diesel. After the tanker finally arrived, we headed back to BYS. Port Philip Bay is a nursery for bottlenose dolphins and there are up to 90 dolphins in the bay @ any time. We were fortunate to have a large pod travelling with us throughout the day - as we passed Sorrento ; as we headed across to Queenscliff; and then again as we returned to Blairgowrie. Our good friends Neil and Lee Slaughter caught up with us @ BYS and we spent several hours in their company - fantastic fun (thanks to both of you for a great evening !) Of course, they were blown away with Elevation; the quality, the great layout; in fact everything !!
Day 7 (27/3/07)
A day for general cleaning and washing, plus some R&R for the crew. We will probably be @ BYS for at least another day as we wait for a low pressure system t head across the continent. Our intention is to leave on Thursday as there are two highs coming eastwards, meaning that we should have good sailing weather for days !! Enjoyed a delicious lamb roast for dinner - everything in the galley is a dream to work with and we've been eating well. We purchased all our meat supplies from Devitt Wholesale Meats in Narrebeen - we rang ahead and arranged for them to both kyrovac and freeze all items. Would highly recommend them to anyone planning on long distance cruising - great quality and fantastic service !!
Day 8 (28/3/07)
We awoke to a sensational, but not sailor friendly sunrise. The weather forecast for the next few days is not the best, but we are hopeful of being able to head off by Friday @ the latest.
BOM information today read as follows:
West Coast, SA/Vic Border to Cape Otway - a strong wind warning is current.
Wednesday until midnight - northerly winds of 20/30 knots in the east at first but west/north west 15/25 knots extending east to become general this morning. NW winds strengthening to 20/30 knots again in the west later. Seas of 2 to 3 metres.
Thursday West/northwest winds 20/30 knots gradually strengthening to 25/35 knots and tending west/southwest later. Seas 2 to 3 metres rising 3 to 5 metres. West to southwest swell 4 to 6 metres.
Friday West/southwest wind 25/35 knots, easing to 20/30 knots from the west later. Seas 3 to 5 metres. West to southwest swell 4 to 6 metres abating to 3 to 5 metres later.
Spent the day acting as tourists - coffees in Blairgowrie, and a little provisioning.
Day 9 (29/3/07)
A gale warning is current for Victorian waters however we are hopeful that this front will pass during today and tonight and that we will be able to recommence our journey again tomorrow. Spent the day being tourists in Sorrento - a picturesque and historic town, just a short bus ride away.
Checked the weather forecast in the evening - the front is finally going through and we are primed for an early departure tomorrow.
Day 10 (30/3/07)
Awoke to a very unfavourable weather report (gale warning and seas of up to 7 metres) and we made the decision to remain @ BYS for another day. Peter & Dale headed off to Frankston for the day; Paul and I remained onboard and worked to ensure Elevation was seriously shipshape. The accommodation onboard is very comfortable and whilst staying in the marina is not our preferred option (we are all keen to be on our way again), we are enjoying living on Elevation.
Day 11 (31/3/07)
At last - a weather forecast that we are all happy with !! So it's back out to sea this morning and off to Cape Otway . There are a couple of Highs coming across the Bight and we can therefore look forward to a (hopefully) comfortable passage westwards. If we can also pick up AM radio, we will be able to listen to the Dockers game !!
We headed off from BYS @ 8.02am and motor sailed out of Port Philip Bay , planning the tide perfectly and therefore having a comfortable exit through the heads. Our thanks to the guys @ the lighthouse for providing us with information on weather conditions, plus details of shipping traffic. Once clear of the shipping lane, we continued motoring south; the winds were to the SSW and insufficient for us to even think about sailing. An uneventful day overall; we cruised comfortably past Cape Otway and the lighthouse around 19.35 and said goodbye (quite happily) to Bass Strait !
Day 12 (1/4/07)
A quiet night, with very little wind. So cold in the Southern Ocean and we are looking forward to being able to chase the sun home t Fremantle. The ocean this morning was dark and velvety - as the forecast is for variable winds under 10 knots, we are resigned again to motoring for the majority of the next 24 hours. We passed the Vic/SA border jut after 14.00 and are currently cruising @ 7.2 knots under power. The forecast for the next few days should ensure that we actually get some good sailing in !! Not a lot of shipping traffic; but a great array of albatross and mutton birds to watch.
Day 13 (2/4/07)
We awoke to a brilliant sunrise directly behind us - yes, we are heading true west @ the moment. Still not enough breeze to do anything other than motor sail. We are sitting right in the middle of the High, and with luck, should see some favourable winds later in the day. Overnight it was bitterly cold out on deck; the sun is now shining and the sky clearing so we are looking forward to warmer weather. We are currently around 100km south of Adelaide in the Southern Ocean and heading rapidly towards the Indian Ocean ! @ just after 11.00, the winds picked up and we were able to sail for several hours. By nightfall, we had passed south of Kangaroo Island - we are averaging 6-7 knots in a light SW breeze.
Day 14 (3/4/07)
Overnight, we were able to mostly sail, with the engine required between midnight and 04.00 only. The wind is currently in the south @ 10-15 knots and we are achieving a very credible 7-8 knots under sail. @ 08.14 we passed south of Port Lincoln. Still very cold out in the Southern Ocean, but overall, having a good time with clear skies and the sun shining. The forecast for the next few days is looking ok and we should be able to enjoy some very favourable sailing conditions.
Day 15 (4/4/07)
The expected winds petered out yesterday afternoon and we again were required to motor sail for several hours. Our intention is to be rounding Leeuwin by Monday 9/4 in order to be home for a very important function next Saturday night (Happy 21 st birthday Jodes !) Very little shipping traffic out here and we all get quite excited when we actually come across another ship. Considering the billions of people who live on this planet, it's amazing to find the four of us so alone with nature. This morning brought NW winds of around 12 knots and we have been sailing along for the morning @ a comfortable 6-7 knots. We are hoping to maintain this pace or better as the day progresses.
We were 652NM away from Albany @ lunchtime today. We are intending to make a quick stopover there (probably on Sunday) to refuel. Our lunch today was pizza - very cleverly dubbed "The Great Australian Bite" by Dale. The winds have remained favourable and we are achieving 7-8 knots consistently.
Day 16 (5/4/07)
We were again required to motor overnight and by approximately 05.30, crossed the WA/SA border. The day is looking very promising - sun shining and very, very calm on the water. We just need some wind to kick us along !!
To all of our families and friends, have a very safe and Happy Easter, either on the roads or on the water. Having Satnav has been great in regards to staying in contact with friends - thanks Patsy & Steve for your very entertaining email J Thanks also to Carol - I've told the boys the Easter Bunny can't swim but they all seem convinced he can fly. Am planning to add some further photos to our blog once we get a little closer to land.
Special Easter cheerios to:
Loretta and the kids - lots and lots of love from your darling Dale
Sheila from Peter - ditto with kisses
And of course, go Freo !!
Day 17 (6/4/07)
The wind arrived mid afternoon on Thursday and we made great progress during the PM and evening. Around 22.00, the swell also picked up, heeling us consistently across to the port side, which made for a very uncomfortable night overall. Having said that, we made some great progress sailing and were achieving 8-10 knots constantly. Today has been similar and whilst not the most pleasant conditions (winds gusting to 30-35 knots), we are making good time; should be in Albany by lunchtime on Sunday which means we have covered the Bight in 8.5 days - pretty impressive !!! What a great boat we have commissioned !!
Day 18 (7/4/07)
There were some fairly impressive lightning displays overnight, plus a couple of rain squalls as the cold front met the high. Unpleasant conditions, but again, good sailing achieved. Dale managed to achieve a distance of 17NM over his two hour watch (0400) which was pretty special !! The sun is now up and the swell abating and we are all looking forward to a more comfortable pace for @ least some of today. We are currently 169NM away from Albany , so looking good for a midday arrival tomorrow.
Again, it's been good to have really efficient comms - thanks for your message Tanya - Peter sends love to you all. Will probably not be able to make Dunsborough for a meal as offered but will see you @ home very shortly. A special message for Leila - Dandy says that the Southern Ocean is too cold for mermaids, but he'll be looking out for them in the Indian Ocean , especially for you.
Given our required timeframe, we have possibly not have been as efficient with fuel as we could have - there has been a need to get home to Fremantle by mid April - but realistically, Elevation has been frugal given the demands we have placed on her. Paul and I know that once we commence long distance cruising, the costs will be so much less - this voyage has really been about getting Elevation home to Fremantle as quickly as possible and therefore, we have been prepared for the fuel costs. Hey, we were power boat owners previously and are therefore used to this !!
Day 19 (8/4/07)
Wind change to NNW occurred late yesterday afternoon and we motorsailed throughout the night, moving steadily closer to Albany . There were several rain squalls overnight and this morning. As we got closer to the mainland, we met the expected cold front and it was a wet and uncomfortable journey for the 11NM to Emu Point. The wind was gusting 40 - 45 knots (highest noted 45.9 knots) SW as we made our way closer to Albany and Paul and Peter were soaked as they guided us in. Again, Elevation was sensational !!
The good news for the guys was that the Easter Bunny did manage to find us overnight and left a few treats onboard for us to share.
It was nice to tie up @ Emu Point and relax for the day. Also great to meet Anthony McCann from FSC and his wife on the jetty - thanks heaps for the offer to take us all into Albany . We look forward to catching up with you back in Fremantle. Elevation was certainly the centre of attention @ the marina - lots of people interested in her and wanting to chat about her and Buizens in general. One chap in particular was very keen to talk - his introduction to Buizens was when "Andiamo" sailed by Ron and Rob yn Boys entered Emu Point Boat Harbour . Andiamo participated in a circumnavigation of Australia in the footsteps of Matthew Flinders. The word certainly got out to the locals that another Buizen was in town and we were overwhelmed with people wanting to see this next generation !! We again organised a fuel drop @ the marina - amazing that Albany also does not have a dedicated fuel jetty, and thanks to our friend Baz, we made contact with Great Southern Fuels who will address our needs.
Day 20 (9/4/07)
Trevor from Great Southern Fuel Supplies arrived as promised - we refuelled; had breakfast and waited for some rain squalls to pass. We left the marina @ 12.50, making our way back out to sea, again motorsailing. Seas were rough, with 4 - 6 metre swells. Wind was initially SE @ 25 knots, then changing to southerly @ 20 -25 knots. As this section of our journey is potentially very rough, the guys agreed to have 2 people on watch @ all times. We are sitting around 6 NM off the WA coast. Very slow going to begin with, however as we headed westwards, the seas abated a little and we were able to pick up some speed. @ one stage, Dale managed to have Elevation running @ 13.9 knots. We passed Walpole just after 01.00. The night was relatively uneventful and by this morning, we had covered a fair amount of ground (120 NM).
Day 21 (10/04/07)
Very cold overnight due to the southerly winds, so it was piping hot porridge for everyone for breakfast. Rain squalls again occurring and the sky was very dark and wintery. @ 08.45 we were approximately 40 NM west of Cape Leeuwin ; still motorsailing and averaging 7.5 knots consistently. There has been a following sea, with swell around 2.5 metres. We reached Cape Leeuwin (the most south westerly tip of our continent) @ 12.37. The lighthouse was clearly visible. The wind then picked up so we turned the motor off around 14.00 and sailed for a number of hours. With the following sea, Peter was able to achieve a stunning 15.4 knots down one wave - on average we were maintaining 9.5 knots overall. We were buzzed by the new Customs plane just off Margaret River . Weather was great and with the speed obtained, we made Cape Naturaliste @ 19.20. The wind then changed from SE to easterly and it was a rough passage from Dunsborough to Garden Island . Once in Cockburn Sound, the sea flattened out and we comfortably sailed to the entrance of FSC. Was great to see Norm, Sam and Declan waving to us from the shore !! We motored into Fremantle Sailing Club and were settled into our new pen @ 09.20. We have travelled approximately 2300 nautical miles in less than 18 days and are all very pleased with our efforts.
Overall, what an adventure, and what a great way to really appreciate Elevation !! She is a sensational vessel; extremely well built, very comfortable and a treat to live onboard. Paul and I are looking forward to having the absolute best times of our lives as we sail her across the seven seas - we are locked into work for around three years yet so will be concentrating on west coast cruising in that time (Busselton to the south, Shark Bay & the Montebellos to the North). Our ultimate intention is to sail off around 2010; no serious plans other than completing our circumnavigation of Oz, then on to the South Pacific, with an aim to be @ Gallipoli for 25/4/2015.
For anyone thinking about a Buizen - please do !! We are so in love with Elevation - she has proved to us beyond any doubt that she will get us anywhere we want to be. For people who were power boat owners, who did trips to Rottnest for a number of years, we have really discovered a passion to sail and to spend our next 20 year or so discovering the planet. Elevation is truly the vessel to take us wherever we choose !!