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Seawind saga's and success.

posted Oct 28, 2012, 2:57 PM by Mark Tobin

It amuses me that all stories and tales of the high seas seem to be ones of storms and disasters. No one writes of the calm, serene, perfect sails where the only encounters they have are with dolphins and seals. This tale is no different.


Last Monday at 3.30am we left Hole in the Wall with forecast of 3 m swell and up to 25 knot South winds for our sail to Pittwater. We navigated towards Pt Perp’s lonely flashing light, looking down to see glow in the dark torpedoes racing towards our hulls, then realising they were dolphins with phosphorus. Clearing the cliffs we turned left on our adventure.

Al Leach with crew Mitchell and Kyle and Overture with The Lord brothers, Kevin, Warwick, Neil .....and me.

We soon realised that the forecast wasn't quite right and winds picked up to 30knots SE with Al recording gusts of up to 47 knots. The swell Got up to 4m.

Tranquillity encountered their first problem when their slightly deflated tender, due to the cold conditions got hail, rain and the following seas in it and it decided to part company, taking with it, the life bouy, solar lights and bending the rail, but still hanging on by one rope. Al and Mitch managed to get it back on board and lashed to the tramps, which was no mean feat in the atrocious conditions. A few times they thought about cutting it free.

With the fear of doing damage to their sails they made the decision to drop all their sails, and motor.

Overture in the meantime had furled their headsail and off Wollongong decided another reef was needed, so I was requested to get out from under my doona and helm while the procedure took place. To say I was scared was an understatement .......  Don't look forward to the upcoming roller coaster.....don't look back to the next mountainous wave....take a deep can do it......success.......back to under the doona!

Soon a loud bang was accidental gybe and we broke the top 4 cars on our main sail and our reefing line. We managed to continue with the mainsail hanging out from the mast. Our plan was to sail straight to Pittwater but just south of Jibbon conditions worsened...Mitchell reckoned the swell was up to the first spreader!!!  Overture recorded  a few 18 knots surfing down the waves and Tranquillity 14 knots surfing with no sails .

Ten hours after leaving JB we managed to limp into Jibbon still under sails there was no way we could drop it in the conditions. Tranquillity motored all the way and arrived two hours later. We all breathed a sigh of relief to be there safe and with limited damage. We had some spare cars on board so repairs were made in the afternoon, Day two saw the seas still quite big but the winds had dropped somewhat to 18 knots. Kevin and Al a little apprehensive after day one decided to start with two reefs but by Manly we took them out as the winds and swell had lessened and it was quite pleasant, we even saw a seal sunning itself. Five hours later both boats arrived at The Basin and I was very happy to go ashore and kiss the ground.

Thanks to everyone for your texts of concern and well wishes. It was nice to know you were following our progress, though Kyle said that Kerry always phoned at inappropriate times.

We met Zephyrus at Pittwater , they too had an interesting trip, leaving a day earlier and encountering very rough conditions between Sydney and Pittwater.


It's now Saturday afternoon, race one Friday afternoon saw Tranquillity take line honours and Overture coming third (though the crew thought it was second).

Race one Saturday with a brisk 7-16 knot southerly saw both Tranquillity and Overture do well over the line though results won't be known until presentation tonight.

Will keep you posted.

Tuesday we head for home and hoping the conditions are better or it will be the train for me.


Courtesy of Joanne Lord


Postscript:  Tranquility wins  Seawind 1000 Division and 2nd overall in the Pittwater Regatta.  Well done Al & Kerry and crew.