Sailing,  Travels

Sailing, Sea Sickness & Scintillating Sea Life |A Chilly Voyage North

This has been a long time coming. A recap of our biggest sail yet. 456NM from the southern waters of Sydney, homebound to Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast. And bloody hell. What a sail it was!

We were so ready to leave Pittwater and start our journey north towards warmer weather.

But were we ready for 4 to 5 days at sea???

Luckily for us, we had the help of an old salt who would make up our crew of 3. Our final 2 nights in Pittwater were spent at anchor keeping a careful eye on the weather, enjoying a glorious sunset and planning our passage.

We were aiming to sail straight through to Mooloolaba but would have to wait and see how our sea legs faired. We had never been violently sea sick but this was going to be a bit different to any other sailing we had done in the past!

With mostly blue skies and calm seas, fair winds shot us out past Barrenjoey lighthouse away from the protected waters we had called home for nearly 3 months.

Game on. The warm waters of Queensland were calling us! Sorry Pittwater… you were nice and all but this time we aren’t coming back!

It’s a strange feeling just sailing away without any intention of stopping. We tried to enjoy that feeling for the first day but I think the excitement (or maybe nervousness?) got in the way. We had pretty good conditions on the water to kick off the passage and the couple of passing squalls were enough to keep us on our toes!

It was still so surreal that we were on our very own boat!! CRAZY!

Out on the water, there is something that always lifts your spirits, or in this case reminds us of how amazing sailing can be! Nothing says happiness more than a dolphin playing in the wake around the bow of your boat. You can’t help but smile watching them dancing around in the water!

And the WHALES!!

Of course I never managed to get a good shot of them. But WOWZAS we saw a lot!! The entire passage they were popping up all around us. Some of them were a little too close for comfort though as they would launch themselves out of the water only metres away!

After 2 nights of sailing we were all a bit tired. We were trying to adjust to a new routine of life at sea. Our autopilot was not co-operating (oh how badly we want a hydrovane!) which made things a bit more challenging. Luckily we were a crew of 3 because someone had to be at the wheel hand -steering at all times.

And then started the sea sickness.

Fortunately for myself, good ol’ Travacalm Original works wonders until I get my sea legs.

Even thought about naming the boat after it since we carry so much!

Our captain, on the other hand fell victim to a series of unfortunate events that had him nearly listing the boat on Gumtree!

It all started with a lot of rocking and rolling from beam on swell. This was already a pretty uncomfortable point of sail and with Nathan trying to do too many things on deck he started to feel a bit queasy.

Then… we caught our first fish!!

A nice little tuna was quickly landed on board and an already seedy looking sailor got to filleting. If you have ever been sea sick before, you will know the worst possible thing you could do is sit down and fiddle around with fish guts. So as you imagine, everything went down hill from there.

Let’s just say the poor fish looked a hell of a lot better than our captain….

Luckily we were able to pull into Coffs Harbour. So at about 2am we arrived and anchored in the harbour and in the morning booked into the marina for a night. Coffs was the halfway point of our journey. It gave us some much needed land time to reset, catch up with some friends we met in Pittwater as well as enjoy a beautiful spot on the NSW coast.

The second half of our passage started with some awesome sailing conditions! The crew weren’t feeling sick, the winds were staying around 15 knots and we were hooting along with the swell rolling along behind us. Although it was still bloody freezing, all of that makes for a very happy captain and crew!!

It didn’t take long to get the hang of night watches. With 2 hour shifts we all managed to get a bit of rest. An amazing full moon lit up the way as we glided along. By the end, I would have my music playing and be in a state of complete relaxation. That is when you have those moments of gratitude and realise you are one of very few people who gets to experience something like this!

I guess those peaceful moments have to be balanced out with a bit of excitement though! One night, weary eyed, trudging up to the cockpit for my 2am shift I was greeted with:

“Bit of wind, a rogue wave and sailed through the middle of a sleeping pod of whales! Good luck!”

Before you had time to blink, this little pirate had her life jacket on and was clipped in, gripping the wheel for 2 hours and constantly scanning the water for more sleeping giants!

The last couple of days just rolled on by… Even though we had to turn the engine on a bit, the clear skies and colour of the water were just magic!

Rei, our experienced helper, took the best seat in the house!
We were so close to Mooloolaba we could smell it!

Sailing up to the Sunshine Coast you can see the Glass House Mountains appearing as silhouettes on the horizon. As we approached Point Cartwright, I think we were in disbelief that we had made it! OMG This was it! We arrived just on sunset and I think it was the perfect end to the passage. With our welcome crew waving us in on the spit, we cruised through the bar into the protected waters of Mooloolaba.

456NM. Mission Accomplished.

And now, a month later here we are, nearly finished our 3 weeks of full time work to top up our cruising kitty. About to return to our floating home without any commitments or deadlines. We are finally ready to put our adventure caps on and set sail in search of islands filled with coconut trees, reefs exploding with sea life and crystal clear water to play in all day.

We have also gained 2 new crew members for a month so stayed tuned for all our mishaps, shenanigans and a whole lot of glorious salty days on the water.

Until next time.



  • Asha Hamilton

    Guys you are both amazing….wow what an adventure. Trish and Michael I am so excited for you both to spend this time with the kids. I look forward to reading further exciting adventures in the coming months. Stay safe and enjoy life. ❤️
    Stunning photos too ????

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