2000 Nov 24-29: Passage from New Caledonia to Brisbane

November 24, 2000

Anchor up at 1040 and we departed New Caledonia for Australia. Under full main and jib as soon as we exited the reef at Amadee Light; we set the reacher at 1430, then furled the reacher and sailed under full main and jib after dark, in 15-16 knots of SE tradewinds. At 2220 hours we put the first reef in the mainsail as the wind increased to 19-20 knots in rainsqualls and 2 metre seas.

November 25, 2000

The barometer was rising steadily, and we logged 211 nautical miles in the first 24 hours under sail. At 2040 hours we took in the second reef in the mainsail and were averaging over 9 knots boatspeed, as the windspeed continued to build and swell at 2 to 3 metres. We set our course to avoid sailing over a series of seamounts, then set the next waypoint for the entrance to Moreton Bay just east of Brisbane. In true wind speed of 23 to 26 knots, our boatspeed was in the high 9 knots to 10 knots at times.

November 26, 2000

The morning winds varied in speed from 26 down to 18 knots, then back up into the 20Ï€s until they began to abate in the late evening. Boatspeed was down to 7 to 8 knots, as we shook out the second reef, then sailed under full main and reacher into the night, with seas down to 1 metre.

November 27, 2000

Squalls were all around us at daybreak and soon brought rain and wind in the teens. We furled the reacher to avoid damage by gusts, and enjoyed freshly popped corn as a late afternoon snack. The Pliedes were sparkling like a cluster of diamonds when viewed through our binoculars, and the skies cleared, as if opening the curtains on a gala celestial performance.

November 28, 2000

Engines on. Sails furled. Motoring into light winds and slight seas. In the evening we sighted the sky glow of Brisbane on the horizon. Constellations visible. We were approaching Moreton Light at 2300 hours, tracking ships on the radar.

November 29, 2000

We waited outside the Moreton Bay channel entrance until daybreak, then followed the navigation marks as the channel wandered towards the coast through the sandbanks. A freighter passed us on our starboard side going quite fast. We hailed the Coast Guard with out estimated time of arrival, and tied up at the guest dock in Scarborough at 0800. The customs and immigrations and agriculture representatives each did their work, and we were under way for Manly Yacht Harbour at 1300 hours, lighter in weight by lots of kilos due to the heaps of, potatoes, onions, dried beans and repackaged meats that the minister of agriculture representative took with him. We were allowed to keep all of our New Zealand cheeses and frozen meats which were still in their original packaging.

Summary:

Cyclone season in the South Pacific was approaching, so on November 24, with our new crew members, Bill and MaryAnne Twidale of “Pelagic II”, aboard, we departed for Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. For four days, SE tradewinds of 6 to 25 knots filled Adagio’s sails. The more than six years of planning, design, construction and outfitting of Adagio are helping us realize our dreams. What a wonderful mode of transport and a luxurious new home she is.

There are very few details that we would change. On the morning of Nov. 28 the wind died, so we continued on our way west under motor power. On the morning of the 29th we made our way for four hours through the winding channels through sand bars to the customs port of Scarborough. We relinquished to the representative from the ministry of agriculture many pounds of dried beans, fresh produce and frozen meats whose labels had been removed when Dorothy repackaged them. The labeled New Zealand meats we were allowed to keep, most precious of all our cervena (venison) and lamb tenderloins.

We left Adagio safely in a marina at Manly, south of Brisbane while we visited relatives in the US for the holidays, especially our new granddaughter Sarah Grace and her big brother (3-1/2 years) David. Steve returned to OZ to upgrade the shade systems, dinghy lift system and to perform numerous other important tasks, while Dorothy spent a few more weeks on grandmother duty, and recovering from hand surgery for repair of “trigger finger” of the left thumb. The cause of this injury Dorothy thinks was the hundreds of times she pushed the button latches to AdagioÏ€s drawers and cabinets as she stowed supplies aboard.

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