Crossing Oceans

1 03 2010

action stations

One of the best parts of being a yachting fellow is occasionally being required to take part in an ocean crossing.

And it’s hard not to feel like some sort of tough guy pioneering naval explorer, pushing off into the big blue under sail, just you, a few pals and 3000-odd kilometres of sea to tackle.

We may have autopilots and watermakers and satellite navigation and dvd players, but it’s pretty neat to trundle across such a big slab of the globe borne by the wind.

Braveheart’s ‘meagre’ 1400L fuel capacity meant we had to sail most of the way and luckily, we had reasonable winds with only a few calm days of motoring.

We also enjoyed a fishing bonanza, enjoying mahi mahi, tuna and wahoo almost every day.

best mahi mahi of the trip. super glassy conditions too.

As I write this, we’ve just hauled in the fourth fish of the day, before knocking off a lunch of fresh seared wahoo on a bed of mushroom pasta, washed down with some cold Rosé. Jodie sure looks after us.

Yellowfin tuna ceviche and wahoo sashimi were further fishy highlights.

Days are spent mostly lazing about the yacht, secure in the knowledge that most cleaning can be done on arrival (plenty of powerboats have their crews work 8hr days on the way across. Ick).

captain stupid

There’s a healthy supply of novels, fresh dvds, backgammon tournaments, ongoing poker battles and general relaxation.

As I said, crossings are a good time.

But you’re always glad when you arrive somewhere tropical.

The Heffernator kills again

halfway celebrations - 1200nm to go...!

 

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long way round

1 03 2010

Looking at a map of the world, the obvious route from West Australia to the west coast of Africa is…umm…via Africa.

Which is why I decided to travel there via Kuala Lumpur, then London, then Munich [backtracking here..] before going onto the Cape Verdes.

But it only took five whole days and about 35 hours in the air and a 36hr layover in London.

I did however learn that Air Asia is to be avoided on longhaul flights and that Munich airport is not a bad spot to spend the night.

In fact, Munich is rated sixth in the world for such matters by the helpful folk at www.sleepinginairports.com [I’m not making this up, check it out].

It even [almost] made it worthwhile when I arrived in Munich to see the country covered in snow. Proper snow too, not grubby London slush.

My German seat-companion asked if I’d seen much snow, being from Australia.

I managed to casually nod “Of course”, while barely avoiding squealing like an excited schoolgirl.

Because as some folks may or may not know, this Australian has NEVER really seen snow.

So as soon as I’d grabbed my luggage, I was straight out into the courtyard to have a little play, before hunkering down for the night. Sweeet!

It was made all the more surreal by flying from snowy Europe to the glistening tropical waters of Sal just six hours later, where I washed off the snow and sweat with a swim in the sun.