Mark Goode 2142 Views

Captains Log - Northern Campaign - 1 September 2014

Our last port was Gladstone, a major shipping area for Queensland. Many of the children who came for day sailing on board 'Kayle' were from mining, shipping and working class families. 

After many years in a thankless job as a cop, the many smiles, genuine thanks and gratitude I received from the children and carers brought tears to my eyes as I realized I had found a new calling in life. 

To be part of creating change and optimism amongst people with disabilities through sailing is a great honour and although the crew and I have had our challenges we remain firm to the cause.

After setting out from Gladstone last Friday evening, we had a calm sail across to Fraser Island and started the southward journey of over 500nm towards Newcastle. On our second night at sea our first challenge, after many hours of motoring sailing, the wind came up:

At 3am the crew and I reefed down and started to beat to windward (in sailing terms that is having the wind and sea against you), not the most pleasant experience. In the faint moonlight, I saw some clouds in the distance but thought not much of it, the forecast was good, what could go wrong ! I went to bed......

At 4am, I was unexpectedly thrown from my bunk onto the floor, faceboat started pitching and rolling violently, stuff was flying about the cabin and launching from the bunks. I looked at the navigation computer and saw we were heading in the opposite direction to out intended route. What was going on up on deck !!

I poked my head up the companion way hatch into what was a squall, it was raining, the two crew members on watch were attempting to furl some head sail in, but the wind was playing havoc, gusting and changing direction. Even George (our auto-pilot) wasn't happy with what was going on, sounding his alarm and not responding.

At 5am, things were back under control, the squall passed, the boat sailing south again and the captain back in bed. All in a days work ! beats being in an office !

Today, we continue our journey on a flat sea, catching up on some much needed sleep, much needed food (only so long you can eat jelly beans and biscuits). We look ahead and find ourselves facing some adverse weather conditions tomorrow

For the safety of the crew and vessel, I have made the decision to head for Coffs Harbour. For those kids waiting for us in Newcastle, don't be disappointed, we will get there eventually !

All the best from faceboat

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    • Deb Jeffreys | 2014-09-02 07:14:43
      Wishing you a safe trip into Newcastle
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Mark Goode

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