Wed 26 June 2013

The voyage over to Pt Vila proved  to be most eventful and a good challenge for those seeking adventure beyond their comfort zones. Our intrepid leader and captain Bob Brenac however has  seen  it all and calmly smoothed  the  waters  by recounting tales of  Bass Strait at 90kts so our experience was really just a walk in the park!

We left Sydney  Heads  at 1330 hrs on Thursday 13th 2013 into a friendly norwest wind which continued to blow for the next 3 days with increasing energy. As a result we covered 185 nm in the first 24hrs then created a new 24hr record for  Chimere of 227nm @ 055 degrees  between 2230hrs Thursday  to 2230hrs Friday 14th June!

The winds then turned souwest for the next 6 days in search of the elusive trade winds which finally appeared on our last day into Vila. We had some relaxing sailing during which we enjoyed cooked meals prepared by the good people of Melbourne (Thankyou very much).

We arrived into Port Vila on Sunday 23rd June 2013 anchoring at 0933hrs some 9 days and 20 hrs later. Another record for Chimere! We sailed most of the way having to use the “iron sail” for only 34.7hrs during this time as mother nature had a rest.

The crew of 5 strange men – a marine surveyor (Gary), a pet motelier (Bob), a self –funded retiree (Jon), a  medical wonder (Tony) and  a flightless bird (Kiwi-John) with a vast array of hidden talents which were  revealed as the challenges of our voyage demanded professional responses.

We conquered the loss of steering as the cable broke in the stiff NW 25knt breeze on day 3, and the engine refusing to start as we passed  by the Iles de Pins (Isle of Pines) on day 7. As the sound of the” dogs barking” faded under the beautiful noise of the iron sail the tensions subsided and we returned to our slumber and  night watches.  As usual these incidents always happen in the middle of the night to heighten the sense of drama and test ones resolve.

Since arriving in port we have performed a few more miracles and now have the pleasure of Stella the water maker, an anchor well with bells and whistles(ie everything  now works), an engine that starts when you turn the key  and we are currently sorting out why the autohelm went on strike as we came into port .

As you can see there is more to sailing than meets the eye! Well worth the experience however.

Greetings to one and all and thank you for your support