sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Boats for Sale MarineBusiness-World Sail-World Racing Cruising Int Magnetic Is RW Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Sail-World.com : Crossing the Tasman solo - this sailing voyage you DON'T want
Crossing the Tasman solo - this sailing voyage you DON'T want

'Lisa Blair in action'    .

Mooloolaba sailor Lisa Blair recently sailed a trans-Tasman solo yacht race as part of her preparation for her next, overriding goal - the solo circumnavigation of Antarctica in December this year. However, it's her description of her first solo crossing of the Tasman Sea from Australia to New Zealand that she has made into a gripping story. Wanting to solo sail somewhere across chancy oceans? Read this:

Lisa Blair’s loaned Van de Stadt 39 Cator of Margaret River -  .. .  
Being loaned the Van De Stadt 37 boat, Cator of Margaret River, by Roger McMillan of sailing emag MySailing only two weeks prior to setting out was a lucky break and very kind of Roger, but also part of the challenge as the boat needed much preparation for such an enterprise.

So it was with all of her frantic preparations done and customs cleared she sailed out of Pittwater Bay and aimed the boat East for New Zealand.


Finally there was the wind in my hair and the smell of salt air all around me. After two weeks of madness to get here it was so nice to be alone on a boat sailing for the horizon.

This is also my first solo ocean passage so it was properly just as well that I was so busy before the start so that I didn’t get the chance to think about the enormity of what laid ahead and as a red sunset bloomed across the sky on Sunday I set about settling in on my new home as we sailed on to the horizon. By nightfall I had cleared most of the shipping and the exhaustion of the last two weeks was starting to creep up on me however I have been very strict in keeping to my 20 minuet sleeping pattern. You see a ship beyond the horizon can reach you in just over 20 minuets so It is good to scan the horizon every 20 minuet to see if there are any ships near and as much as a long sleep would be welcome It will have to wait until landfall.

The night passed at a steady 6 knots with a gentile 12 knots of breeze to ease me into solo sailing. By day two the winds had dropped off to 3-5 knots slowing me down to a near stand still as a large high pressure system settled over me. This began to make sleep difficult as the sails would thrash back and forward in the swell making quite a racket and the auto helm would keep beeping at me as it lost the heading because there was simply no traction for it to steer with. When the boat would stall out completely I would start the engine and motor until I found wind however I soon discovered that the engine did not vent out of the boat very well as such the cabin would fill with exhaust fumes so I prudently would stay on deck while the engine was running and could often be found circled up on deck hugging my oven timer trying to sleep but fearing that I would sleep through my alarm due to the noise of the engine. Needless to say I am still trying to catch up on sleep.’

So it is that I have now been sailing solo at sea for 4 days and have almost 400nm and have not seen a ship for two days. I have found that I have taken to solo sailing like a duck to the water and feel completely at peace here alone on this great expanse of water. I am sure that this feeling is also due to the lovely sunny days and gentile breeze. It may change when I get my first storm alone however I somehow don’t think so.

My windless conditions lasted another 24 hours until a lovely 12-15 knots of breeze filled in. This amount of wind is perfect for this vessel and she lunged forward like a dog pulling on her lead making a steady 7 knots in the right direction. I was taking the safe approach and putting a reef (shorting sail) in the sail at night so that I was not caught out. On my fifth day at sea I also noticed that the bilges kept getting water in them. This is not a good problem on any boat and I was duly concerned however the problem did not get any worse during the trip and I put it down to water over the decks. This problem did seem to go away when the weather was good and the boat was not getting waves over the deck.

After a few days of isolation I was beginning to feel like I wouldn’t see anyone until I reached port when I went up on deck after yet another 20 minuet sleep to see container ship ANL BAREGA just coming over the horizon. I made radio contact just to say hi and to check that they had noticed me but they passed with a safe clearance to my starboard side. Also that afternoon my radar picked up a stationary object of some size just beyond the horizon. It was of no concern to me as I was already past it and sailing on but I sat there thinking for a while what exactly could be that size just floating in the middle of the Tasman Sea. I finished this day beating to windward with just over 500 nm to go.

Lisa Blair - determined to circumnavigate Antarctica solo -  .. .  
For the next two days I was getting some great condition if not enough wind and was maintaining 6 knots in the right direction. I was also getting lots of rest for my body even if I was still not getting any sleep longer than 20 minutes however I was beginning to get frustrated at the constant winds around the 5-8 knot range and was just wanting to be making good time again so I tacked south for a day in the hopes of picking up a bit more breeze.

On my seventh day at sea I phoned customs to notify them that I should be arriving in NZ within 48 hours as per the protocol and by that afternoon the winds had filled in to a healthy 15 knots and I was sailing along with 1 reef in the sail quite well but the barometer was still dropping so I was going to be in for a blow even if the forecast was for 20-25 knots at a max.

When the winds started to build to 20 knots I put in the second reef and furled some of the jib (the front sail) away and continued on. Initially the barometer showed a drop from 1022 to 1017 in 4 hours indicating a rather severe blow however after a few hours the barometer steadied and the winds once again returned back to below 10 knots.

By 12.30pm on day 8 I had 164nm to go and was beginning to dream of that long awaited sleep, hot showers as I still had not showered and a lovely hot meal however by 5pm the winds were building again and were at a 15 knots. At 10pm that night sailing with 2 reefs in the main I came on deck and was completing my log when I looked up at the main sail and noticed that a few sliders had popped off. These are the little plastic things that hold the sail to the mast as such the sail was adding extreme pressure on the other sliders and they too were breaking. My log only shows winds around 15-16 knot range so nothing dramatic but the damage was already done and I spent a lovely 3 hours trying to battle the winds to get this sail down and finally finished very cold and tired but with my main sail lashed securely to the boom. I ran through the night in building winds and building seas with the jib half furled and the engine on as I did not wish to attempt getting the storm tri sail up in heaving seas in the dark.

At 4.30 am on day 9 at sea I was getting 35 knots of wind and the seas were around the 20-25 foot range in height but ‘Cator of Margaret River’ was handling it nicely and riding over the swell like a champion. I got very little sleep that night as the swell was continuing to build and was very steep making for dangerous seas. I was also anticipating that the conditions would moderate in 8-12 hours however the little low decided to park right on top of me and the winds continued to build to a steady 40 knots by 8 am.

By this time I was needing to turn off the engine as I was worried about using too much fuel and not having enough to make harbour so I ate some muesli bars and chocolate and went out into the howling winds and driving rain to get the Storm Tri Sail up. This was no easy task and ended up taking around 3 hours with much swearing and most of the time was spent just trying to hold on as the boat crashed of the back of these enormous waves. Once I had completed this task I stopped to take stock of everything and looked over my shoulder to see a HUGE ship 500 meters away. I immediately got on the radio to check that they knew I was here and even got an update on the weather. The forecast said that I was to be in for another night with the winds easing in the morning. The seas were still building getting up to 40 foot in height at times when the sets would come through and were on par with the types of seas that you get in the southern Ocean, BIG seas. There is a very good reason for these seas as the sea floor goes from 3000 meters deep to 500 meters deep as it rises up onto a bank. This in turn causes horrendous seas and was right where I found myself to be during this storm. 10 minutes later as I looked over my other shoulder and there was a HUGE fishing ship trawling lines. I again got on the radio and they said that they had limited control due to the lines and that I will need to keep clear of them. Well I also had limited control but I did manage to put a tack in and keep clear.

My log reads at 5.30 pm that night: Had one hell of a night and day and still waiting to get to sleep. Been awake for 30 hours now. Very tired.’ The winds had held at 40 knots all day and the seas were beginning to break against the boat by this time causing me to become very worried about getting rolled, I had already had a couple of knock downs by this time putting the mast at 90 degrees and making a mess of the cabin.

I had spent the afternoon looking at way of making the boat safer in these conditions but I hadn’t yet used things like a para anchor or a drough so I didn’t know how the boat would react with these in use. My biggest problem was that I was only able to point the right angle into the waves so the boat was getting knocked sideways occasionally which is very dangerous in those seas. So I played the phone a friend card and called Bruce Arms who is to be my project Manager for my Antarctica campaign. After I told him of my current conditions he immediately suggested that I turn tail and run with the waves and stream out the storm drough. He also told me what to expect and the best way to set it up. So once again on deck to prepare the boat and with 40 nm to the finish I turned the boat around and went the opposite direction.

After turning around there was an immediate difference in the conditions and the boat was so much happier travelling at around 3 knots in the wrong direction with just a tissue of the jib out. I was still getting shoved by the big waves but the drough held the stern to the waves really well and prevented me from surfing at very fast speeds down these monsters. So after double checking that the boat was going to be fine I fell into an exhausted sleep for most of the night. I did set my timer to wake and check on everything however I slept right through it.

In the morning the winds had dropped off to 15-20 knots after over 40 hours in these conditions. I got the storm Tri sail up again and the drough in and started going back up wind to make port. I was blown 70nm further away from port over night and needed to beat to windward in the huge seas to get back. I was still making around 4 knots of speed with the storm tri sail and the jib but I couldn’t get any height to the wind. As a result I needed to do more tacks and sail a further distance.

At the end of day 10 I was really looking forward to a hot meal and heated one of my boil in the bag currys. I was finally relaxing and feeling great when there was a bang on deck and I could see the jib falling into the water. I rushed forward – clipped on of course and tried to retrieve the sail. With the boat getting blown sideways the jib went and wrapped its self around the bottom of the boat making it impossible to retrieve. I ended up having to gybe the boat around so that I was drifting away from the sail and then wrestle the sail back on board. I had very little energy to start with and this task zapped the last of my reserves so I was shaking with exhaustion by the time the sail was on deck and lashed a couple of hours later. I then managed to get the storm jib up and get back on course and a greatly reduced speed. I thought that the halyard had snapped initially however it was the webbing at the top that gave way. I at least had the optimistic view that at least this was the test run and not the race.

By 8am on after 11 days at sea I still had 54 nm to go and the winds continued to drop down to around the 10 knots range causing me to travel even slower, making speeds of around 1-2 knots. At least by this time the seas has calmed considerably. I left the boat in its slow state over night as I tried to get some rest however with my close proximity to land this was very difficult. In the morning I assessed the damage to the jib and ended up spending the morning sowing the webbing back on by hand so that I could at least make slightly better speed. By 2pm the sail was back up but not without its own struggles as I needed to run back and forward to feed the sail up the furler.

I had also taken stock of my fuel situation and decided to motor for a while to get out of the light winds as I was not getting any where fast as it was and I so desperately wanted to reach port that evening. By 6pm I had 15nm to go and was still motor sailing. By 7pm I has 10 nm to go and again was still motor sailing however I had decided to run the engine until the fuel tank was empty and then I had another 6 litres to add for the manovering into harbour.

By this time the sun was setting and there was a huge thunder storm that wanted to welcome me to NZ. Due to the amount of rain I still couldn’t see land and given that I had damaged the GPS onboard I was doing all of my navigation into port by plotting from the hand held GPS on the paper charts and getting headings ect. However just outside New Plymouth there is the sugar loaf islands and they finish right next to the harbour entrance so I was extremely paranoid about making an error in my plotting and ending up on the rocks as I has a visibility of around 100mtrs.

Finally the lighting and thunder moved off and the most welcome sight greeted my eyes. The lights of New Plymouth in New Zealand. By 9.15pm I was in harbour and getting ready to clear into customs. To do this I was directed to the main commercial wharf where I would need to drive between two cargo ships and tie up against another little boat at the end of the docks. Once all the paper work was sorted I radioed Harley who assisted me to my mooring and was very kind in taking me ashore for that much needed shower.

In reflection I am happy to have had the opportunity to test both the boat and myself in some heavy conditions and feel that I have not done too badly for my very first solo sail and in fact the very first time that I had to take this boat sailing and have now sailed 1200nm solo and completed the passage in 11 days, it would have been 8 days if I did not get caught by that Low however the trials of that storm were worth the extra time at sea.

Once again thank you so much for all the support and assistance offered by everyone.

About her Antarctic Challenge:
On December 14, Lisa hopes to celebrate her 30th birthday by sailing out of Albany, Western Australia to set a record-breaking course around Antarctica for 90 days. She wants to become the first woman to circumnavigate the frozen continent, solo, unaided and unassisted.

Only two men have performed the feat and she plans to shave 12 days off the 2008 record of Fedor Konyukhov, a Russian sailor .

Lisa reckons she can top his time for the 16,400 nautical mile Antarctic voyage by averaging 7.5 knots non-stop for three months. She says she might occasionally hit 28 knots with the teeth of the wind snapping at her stern and on a good day will churn through 300km of the world’s coldest, roughest water.

Good luck Lisa!


by Lisa Blair/Sail-World


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=122185

10:19 PM Thu 15 May 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World

Sunday afternoon squall on Sydney Harbour and a Manly ferry is blasting its horn as an apparently out of control yacht, with sail number 1152 was in danger of colliding with the ferry.Watch the video No reaction from the yacht, its headsails and main luffing it continued on an altered path and does hit the stern of the ferry. Thankfully it seems without major damage or crew injury. ... [more]  

Seven Days, 960 Miles thrilling voyage by Neil & Ley - SV Crystal Blues
Last night the winds finally lifted a little and moved more to the north. So Crystal Blues finally had 'a bone in her teeth', with the apparent wind at 75 degrees to starboard, 9 knots true, and we were skating along in the dark at 6 to 7 knots, flying the mainsail, genoa and staysail. ... [more]  

Sirocco Marine, exclusive distributor for the BRIG brand of premium RIBS in Australia, recently took to local waters to shoot a lifestyle-themed brochure for its current range. ... [more]  

New WA home for BRIG by Sirocco Marine
South Fremantle is now home to a new BRIG headquarters, the only authorised BRIG agent in Western Australia. ... [more]  

Superior Jetties has undertaken a major photo shoot for its Waterscape pontoon and soon to be released range of Waterscape furniture, which will form part of its 2015 global marketing campaign. ... [more]  

The Governor of NSW David Hurley is to be the patron of the new Rotary NSW Emergency Services Community Awards which will be launched on Wednesday, March 4, at Government House, Sydney ... [more]  

Doyle Sails has announced that effective immediately, Peter Boyd will be acting as their representative in the Bay of Islands. The Bay of Islands is a key location for Doyle, particularly with a high percentage of Doyle’s cruising customer base clearing out of Opua. Based in Paihia, Peter will also be spending regular time in the Pacific Islands and can provide support to Doyle cruisers ... [more]  

The record-setting North American winter of 2015 has left us with all kinds of remarkable images, most of them of snow and ice. But a photographer on Nantucket found something most of us have never seen – nearly frozen waves. ... [more]  

Rio de Janeiro's state environmental agency says it is investigating a fish die-off that has left thousands of carcasses floating in waters where sailing events are to be held when Brazil hosts next year's Olympics. ... [more]  

The Salty Dawg Rally (SDR), a cruising rally that has quickly grown to be the most popular one of its kind on the U.S. East Coast, announces the Spring 2015 rally plans, when members of the SDR once again sail out of their ‘Winter headquarters’ in the Caribbean and head home for the warmer months of the year. ... [more]  

Dutch Chief Mate suspended following tragic yacht incident by Maritime and Coastguard Agency Press
On the 8th June 2014 the 'Shoreway', a 98 metre 5000 tonne dredger, owned by Koninklijke Boskalis Westminster NV, collided with a Moody 31 sailing yacht 'Orca' at the entrance to the River Orwell in Suffolk. At the helm of the Shoreway at the time was Mr Gerardus Chapel who was employed as Chief Mate. ... [more]  

Last year, OceansWatch trialled a Climate Change adaptation program in two communities in the Solomon Islands which have been identified as one of the countries that will be most affected by the rising sea levels and increased storm conditions. The low coral atolls where we work are especially vulnerable. ... [more]  

Changed boating conditions for Jetty Beach at Coffs Harbour by Transport Roads and Maritime Services
Vessel operators are advised changed boating conditions will be in place around Jetty Beach at Coffs Harbour on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 March for the BCU triathlon swim to take place. ... [more]  

Sailors for the Sea and Cruising Club of America will work together to encourage sailors to become stewards of the ocean. Sailors for the Sea, a leading conservation organization that engages, educates, inspires and activates the sailing and boating community toward healing the ocean, will partner with the Cruising Club of America (CCA), an international organization of over 1,300 sailors ... [more]  

Hamilton Island Audi Race Week 2015 – Have you booked your accommodation? It is always good to book early to secure the best properties as these book out first. ... [more]  

Rescued Australian father and son are recovering fast by Sean Flynn | The Newport Daily News
The Australian father and son who were rescued from their 43-foot sailboat Sunday morning in 60-mph winds and 25-foot waves two days after setting out from Jamestown were recovering Monday at the Coast Guard Air Station in Forestdale, Mass., a village in Sandwich. ... [more]  

Airbnb may a popular 'peer-to-peer' lodging site on the web, but if you want to rent a boat in your local area or away, you’ve got options, too. Boatbound.com, Boatsetter.com and Cruzin.com are just a few of the new crop of online websites offering a chance to rent a boat for the day or weekend. ... [more]  

Australian father-son duo delays trip back home by By Matt Sheley | The Newport Daily News
Lousy weather and a wonky autopilot kept the 43-foot sailboat Sedona docked Monday at the Conanicut Marina in downtown Jamestown. Australians Reg and Jason McGlashan rode out the snow in the boat’s cabin, waiting for a marine electrician to show up and fix its electrical system. ... [more]  

The Wine List by Crystal Blues by SV Crystal Blues
After a busy few weeks we are almost ready for our departure to Sri Lanka and beyond. Friends Ray and Jan Pitt signed off the boat in Thailand, leaving us spoiled, relaxed and ready for the future. Four weeks ago we sailed south (overnight) from Koh Phayam, spending four days in Phuket, provisioning and making ready. ... [more]  

Reg and Jason McGlashan spent the weekend getting ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime. In freezing weather, the father-and-son team prepared the 43-foot sailboat 'Sedona' for their 8,600-nautical-mile trip back home to Port Macquarie, Australia. ... [more]  

With shark encounters and bites on the rise, Lindsay Lyon, Shark Advocate and Managing Director of Shark Shield, the world’s only proven shark deterrent technology, provides his tips on preventing a shark attack as the last days of summer roll in. ... [more]  

Making its world debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2014, the Beneteau Oceanis 35 is already making its mark in Australia, with a second place in its division on its first outing at the Festival of Sails, Geelong, Victoria in January. ... [more]  

The Baja Ha-Ha… The 750-mile cruiser rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas beckons with adventure, fun and memories-to-be-made. This year 171 boats and 525 participants answered the call. ... [more]  

Oceans of Hope is a Sailing Sclerosis Foundation project that aims to change perceptions of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), inspiring people with the disease to overcome their own personal challenges by telling the stories of those taking part in the first ever circumnavigation by a yacht crewed by people with MS. ... [more]  

Roads and Maritime Services expand live vision of conditions by Transport Roads and Maritime Services
Boaters now have access to live vision of conditions at more locations with an expanded network of 18 cameras in key coastal areas and one alpine waterway in NSW. ... [more]  

Boaters urged to postpone boating until conditions subside by Transport Roads and Maritime Services
Roads and Maritime Services is urging boaters in northern NSW to take extra care and consider whether it is necessary to go boating during heavy rain and blustery conditions resulting from Cyclone Marcia. ... [more]  

Rottnest Island set for the annual Festival of Sail by Susan Ghent, Western Australia
Picturesque Rottnest Island in Western Australia is the ideal backdrop for a weekend of yachting and social activities. Now in its fifth year, the two day Rottnest Festival of Sail will be held over the weekend of 28 and 29 March. Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club now invites entries for this annual event. ... [more]  

High seas weather warning for Metarea 10 issued by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre Brisbane at 0907 UTC 19 February 2015. Hurricane force wind warning for North Eastern Area. ... [more]  

Tropical Cyclone Marcia is moving quickly through the Coral Sea towards the Queensland coast. The recent movement has been to the southwest, and it is expected to maintain this general motion through to landfall on the eastern Queensland coast between St Lawrence and Bundaberg early on Friday. Tropical Cyclone Marcia is expected to slowly intensify, with the possibility of reaching category 2 inte ... [more]  

Pacific Sky Power is launching the Kite Controller, a redesigned reel-bar with a compression winch that maintains equal line lengths throughout the launch and retrieval. For kayaks and canoes, this system enables sailing with a kite. ... [more]  

Boat owners cruising in Turkish waters are facing more difficulties because a new law regarding Residence Permits is confusing everyone concerned. ... [more]  

I was ruined...completely and utterly ruined. At the young age of 22, my very first trip to the Caribbean was to Eleuthera, which is, in my opinion, the most beautiful place on earth. It will now be an uphill battle for me to surpass my visit there. ... [more]  

This is an in-water trial set-up, which will involve The Albert Park Yachting and Angling Club (APYAC) assisting Fisheries Victoria and University of Melbourne to load and deploy locally sourced limestone rubble and other materials etc. onto to the seabed ... [more]  

Fire at Middle Harbour Yacht Club caused $500,000 damage
OCA Series - Julie Salisbury shares her seven-year cruising adventures
Dominica – An adventurous land definitely not for the faint of heart!
Galapagos - The Islands imposes stricter environmental inspections
Cruising under Power - Turning to the Dark Side?
50th Newport Bermuda Race - Rousmaniere looks back at 46th Thrash 2008
Research finds alarming levels of plastics wastes in Oceans
Standards Australia committee issues lifejacket safety standards
Polish crew sets new record for furthest south ever sailed by a yacht
Boat ramp sinking - You have to laugh
Setouchi International Yacht Rally preview
Cruising yacht disappears in Bay of Islands
Marine Rescue NSW rescue three boaters on hazardous North Coast bar
Getting your gear (wheel) on
Offshore preparedness the focus of operation ‘Blue Water’
Updated disposal options for unwanted beacons
Boat Docking Secrets - How to Avoid Springline Snap-back
New legislation would fix renewable fuel standard
New legislation would fix renewable fuel standard
Provisioning the aCappella Way
Rare and very unusual shark caught by fishermen on NSW Coast   
Best Loch Ness Monster evidence may have been destroyed   
Tall ship falls over - Could your boat do this?   
Dangerous conditions predicted for NSW boaters   
Cruise in company and enjoy a beautiful weekend at Cruising Yacht Club   
Two Somali pirates appeal in deaths of four Americans aboard yacht   
Producing jet fuel from ocean algae   
The true story of Donald Crowhurst set for a major film adaptation   
Humans drive 500 species of land animals extinct, now marine?   
Club Marine magazine subscribers can win Birthday Bonanza prizes   
Predicting coral reef futures under climate change   
Sailors for the Sea launches ocean conservation movement to heal ocean   
Changed boating conditions for Triathlon on Cudgen Creek next Sunday   
Family rescued after catamaran breaks in half   
New Holiday Camps at Lake Macquarie with the H2O Sports Academy   
Sailing Sclerosis Oceans of Hope arrives in Panama City + Video   
Planning an open ocean cruise? Become a Citizen Oceanographer   
Rarely sighted frilled shark turns up in Victorian waters   
Croatia First Regatta - Brand new limited entry one design event   
Doyle Sails offer sail repair and basic rigging service at BOISW   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW Cru SH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT