Tasman Crossing: Day 10 Landfall

KeyTas
Author: Pete
Location: Brisbane, Australia

 

LAND HO!!!!! After 10 days crossing the Tasman Sea, Tayrona pulls safely into Brisbane, Australia!

Miranda spotted land low on the horizon this morning and shook me from my graveyard-shift-induced slumber. There it was, Australia. After two years of sailing west towards this moment it was pretty much impossible to hold back. A solid, “LAND HO!” burst forth from Miranda. Okay, it was me, but she was pretty excited too.

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It took a full day to navigate around Moreton Island and into the Brisbane river. Once you see land, it’s another sixty miles into port. It’s pretty much the slowest day ever. Just… grinds… Didn’t help that we had a head wind of fifteen knots and choppy irksome waves on the bow that made Tayrona lurch and stagger like a prize fighter on a losing streak.

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For a while it looked like the day would be stretched out to grueling eternity, but once we were in the lee of the island the waves smoothed out to zilch and our new course provided a favorable wind angle. We unfurled the sails and shot off at eight knots. I was so happy that we didn’t have to motor Tayrona in on her last landfall like some kind of clunky trawler. She wants to sail in!

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And sail we did. Sunset ’round these parts is five-thirty, and the cloudless day afforded a blazing, clear sunset as we approached the Brisbane River.

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We dodged a few cargo ships making for sea, and then navigated five miles up river in the dark. Is green on the right here, or is that the other way around? We eventually tied up at the Riverside Marina quarantine dock and were checked in by customs despite the late hour.

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I’m incandescent. We made it. We sailed to Australia.

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Tasman Crossing: Day 9

KeyTas
Author: Pete
Location: 27°18.139S’ 154°40.363E’

 

Day 9 at sea.

Man, that was an ugly couple of days. Last night felt like we were sailing underwater the visibility was so poor. Couldn’t discern sky from sea at the horizon. Yuck! Thank goodness for radar, cutting out through the rain.  The charcoal smudge that was the last couple days finally broke and we were rewarded with crisp blue skies and sunshine today.  We even saw evidence of life existing outside our hemisphere… a ship came ripping through the clear blue.  Man they’re fast.  Too fast.

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We hung out all our soggy foulies, damp blankets and towels, opened the hatches wide and filled the boat with air.  Although it was the day before Denny’s birthday, I made the call as captain of the vessel to celebrate a day early.  We were getting stir crazy and needed a little celebration.  And cake!  While baking on a rolling boat is no picnic, chocolate cake is a welcome deviation from fish.
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Spent a leisurely day chasing the sun from the cockpit to the trampoline, enjoying our last full day of passage off shore. With the fair weather of the high pressure system came light winds on the nose, so we’re motor sailing the last 70 miles to Brisbane. No sight of land yet, but we can feel it. I think we’re ready to be there.

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It’s Tayrona’s last night of passage under our command, the last graveyard watch, the last 3am sail change. I’m going to miss this foolishness.

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Tasman Crossing: Day 8

KeyTas
Author: Pete
Location: 27°50.896S, 156°40.730E

 

Day 8 at sea.

Sailed through an ugly trough, not too heavy with wind or wave, but rainy, squally, and uncomfortable.   We’ve been running parallel to a line of heavy clouds all day.  To port is clear blue, to starboard, foul skies.  We ride right in the middle.

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Now, motoring in calm winds but unsettled seas and rainy gloom on the other side of the front.Ugh. 178 miles to Bris. All well aboard.

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