Akuna Bay Cruising Club

SEZ-AM heads north - Part 1

Friday 14 May, 2010

Monday, May 10th, saw "Sez-Am" leave her berth in Akuna Bay at 6.15am with Captain Bob Taylor at the helm, with Mike McLaren and Keith Turner handling the crew duties.
The farewell party of one (Jenny Turner), saw "Sez-am" rapidly disappear into the pea soup fog, but with the wonder of modern electonics, we managed to reach Cottage Point unscathed. Though Hamilton Island was still a long way off.
Three hours and forty minutes after leaving Akuna, we were refueling at Nelson Bay Marina, before berthing next to "Cannon" and not far from "My Dream". Yes, it was a quick trip, and yes, Bob does like to drive fast, and yes, the boat performed brilliantly in the almost perfect weather conditions.

After brunch, a pleasant afternoon, a walk, a few drinks and a nice dinner, we retired early in preparation for a 6.00am departure for Coffs Harbour, estimated as a 6 to 8 hour run, depending on the seas. As luck would have it the seas were perfect all the way to Coffs Harbour, so we covered the distance in a little over six and a half hours.

However about two hours before reaching Coffs, a marine weather report indicated a nasty change due through Coffs at about midnight. This caused us to rethink our plans to overnight in Coffs. The thought of leaving Coffs at 6am the next morning into the predicted 20-30 knot southerly and accompanying 3-4 metre waves was not remotely appealing.

After a brief crew meeting it was unanimously decided that we would 'splash and dash' at Coffs Harbour. So in 35 minutes at Coffs we had refueled, grabbed some fish and chips and were off again, heading north in glorious conditions at about 26 knots. The downside of this decision was that we would have the last couple of hours in total darkness (Oh the joys of shorter winter days).

When darkness finally descended, the weather worsened slightly, with cloud and lightning, but nothing too serious. Fortunately, thanks again to modern electronics, we were able to find the Gold Coast Seaway, and at around 7.40pm made the security of the Gold Coast broadwater. "Galene" and her crew were already berthed at the Southport Yacht Club and were able to guide us safely into our allocated berth at about 8.15pm.

It was great to be greeted by Bob, Bernie and Greenie on arrival, though we were almost too knackered to enjoy the drinks we were offered, but it was still unanimous that the right decision had been made to continue to the Gold Coast , and that the experience was fabulous.

Even though the weather conditions were excellent for much of the trip, the fourteen hours at sea does take its toll on us older folk (Jessica Watson you're a legend!).

The plan is that "Sez-am" will head for Mooloolaba and further points north on Friday, May 21st with Bob and Margaret, and Keith and Jenny aboard.

Further progress reports will be added as the trip progresses.

Keith Turner (0414 215 488)