The world sailors Heidi and Neill on their 36 foot sailing yacht “Artemis of Lleyn” totally failed to reach Aldi today.
It should have been easy. Lift anchor at St. Helena Island, sail the eight miles south to Raby Bay, anchor again and then the next day take the dinghy to land.
… they forgot about Cyclone Seth. “Seth” is sitting off the Australian east coast and causing high winds and huge waves.
“We’re also likely to see abnormally high tides for much of the south-east. … we’re still likely to see tides exceed the highest astronomical tide level around the western Moreton Bay area,”meteorologist Shane Kennedy
The intrepid duo took a look at the weather and decided that, even against the wind and swell in Moreton Bay, eight miles was “doable”.
No sooner was the anchor up than the wind increased. Even with the motor on, it was impossible to exceed one or two knots between St. Helena and Green Islands. Once the marker buoy was rounded the sails were set – just as the wind increased again. Trying to roll the foresail away again, a line went overboard. Motor in to neutral (before the line wrapped round the propeller), Heidi clipped in to the harness and heading to the bow. Of course it started bucketing down with rain and the wind increased some more. A few waves washed the deck and cockpit just to add to the fun.
With everything once again in control, it was back between the islands with much less sail to try the other side. As soon as the protection of the island was left the full effect of the swell was felt again. It was still six miles to the bay and motoring six hours at one knot was not an option. Tack again and sail (with a handkerchief of sail and at six knots) back to where the day started.
Two and a half hours after leaving St. Helena, Artemis was back anchored in the lee of the island. The wind was no less but there was no swell.
Sailing to Australia was not a problem but Aldi will have to wait for another day.