September 02, 2014.
Captains Log - Northern Campaign - 1 September 2014
last port was Gladstone, a major shipping area for Queensland. Many of
the children who came for day sailing on board 'Kayle' were from mining,
shipping and working class families.
After many years in a thankless
job as a cop, the many smiles, genuine thanks and gratitude I received
from the children and carers brought tears to my eyes as I realized I
had found a new calling in life.
To be part of creating change and
optimism amongst people with disabilities through sailing is a great
honour and although the crew and I have had our challenges we remain
firm to the cause.
setting out from Gladstone last Friday evening, we had a calm sail
across to Fraser Island and started the southward journey of over 500nm
towards Newcastle. On our second night at sea our first challenge, after
many hours of motoring sailing, the wind came up:
the crew and I reefed down and started to beat to windward (in sailing
terms that is having the wind and sea against you), not the most
pleasant experience. In the faint moonlight, I saw some clouds in the
distance but thought not much of it, the forecast was good, what could
go wrong ! I went to bed......
I was unexpectedly thrown from my bunk onto the floor, faceboat started
pitching and rolling violently, stuff was flying about the cabin and
launching from the bunks. I looked at the navigation computer and saw we
were heading in the opposite direction to out intended route. What was
going on up on deck !!
I poked my head up the
companion way hatch into what was a squall, it was raining, the two crew
members on watch were attempting to furl some head sail in, but the
wind was playing havoc, gusting and changing direction. Even George (our
auto-pilot) wasn't happy with what was going on, sounding his alarm and
things were back under control, the squall passed, the boat sailing
south again and the captain back in bed. All in a days work ! beats
being in an office !
Today, we continue our
journey on a flat sea, catching up on some much needed sleep, much
needed food (only so long you can eat jelly beans and biscuits). We look
ahead and find ourselves facing some adverse weather conditions tomorrow.
For the safety of the crew and vessel, I have made the decision to head
for Coffs Harbour. For those kids waiting for us in Newcastle, don't be
disappointed, we will get there eventually !
All the best from faceboat