ORCV Melbourne to Vanuatu (M2V)
Mice choose comfort over speed!
Samskara's mice have chosen to play a little, as they bring the good ship 'Bouncy Castle' back West. They've raided the cellar and appear to be having a wow of a time...
"We have now been back at sea for 40 hours and the new guard, guided by the principles of the Royal Walsall Yacht Squadron (RWYS), has determined that it is appropriate to provide a report on our position, the wellbeing of our new crew members and other information."
Samskara's position on Tuesday 27/07/10 at approx 1000hrs AEST.
"Our position was 019 12.910S, 162 05.773E. This places us just west of the Grand Passage in the North of New Caledonia and on our way to a network of reefs, with Chesterfield Reef being our target. If the weather is kind, we plan to stop at the reef, but at this stage it is looking unlikely."
"Originally, we were meant to be racing Turbo and Tevake 2 back to Mackay, but at this stage, we are bringing up the rear, having left some days after them. Now rather than concentrating on boat speed and crew discomfort, which inevitably go together, we have elected to settle the boat down and enjoy some of the finer things in life, such as a comfortable ride, 03 Semillion and Devil's Lair Chardonnay."
"If we keep up this rampaging speed (approx 9knts or 16.7km/h), we will get to Mackay, via the Capricorn Passage on Saturday. Before we mention our new crew, we would like to pay tribute to the crew that left us on Vanuatu and to say how SORRY we are, that they missed our final night on the fair island of Efate. We engaged in some of our traditional farewell activities, such as no-pants pool, Kiwi baiting and hand launching of large fireworks, which was a particular favourite with the local children."
"By now we imagine that Nick will be splashed all over the Melbourne tabloids, Jessie will be recovering from his role of cabin boy (remembering that he has to finish the course of anti-biotics prescribed to him), The Ship's Cat will be well on the way to making her first literary millions and Leon will be rebuilding his verandah."
"The new crew are settling into life aboard well. Given that three out of four of them had been sharing a room, only a little larger than beer carton, before our voyage, our fearless leader elected to put them all on the same watch with him as their Watch Captain. He should be congratulated for showing such foresight. They really are close. It is a joy to watch them all tethered together, going up to the bow to check the nav lights are working or going to the gas locker together to turn the gas on."
"It seems that Linda Lovelash is the powerhouse of this triangle of support and civility, whilst Slaggers is the artistic one, taking photos, tasting wine (Moet for breafkast, Darling) and cooking the best steak baguettes, ever known to man. Cammy Chameleon is the third corner. He is the quiet brooding type, who keeps his cards to his masculine chest and frankly has us all rather excited!"
"Commander Davies of RWYS has been assigned Rick, James and Twisty - the latter is our final new recruit and on the 2nd Watch. Twisty comes from Perth and is a clone of the last cabin boy. He even wears the same outfits, which helps with role identification. Luckily, we are in the early stages of the voyage, as he still has alot to learn. An example of this is that on occasions, his wild and reckless driving has lead to large waves breaking over the deck and soaking the crew. He needs to understand that this isn't the way the cabin boy makes the crew wet!"
"James is having a well earned rest from his incredible and regular physical exploits on the Iririki Island of Love and false phone accounts. The splint that Linda made to help with his recovery, is working a treat. Rick's burns, scalds and pneumonia are much better, for those of you who may be concerned. Having had time to reflect on our exploits in Vanuatu, we believe we are returning home with some lessons, which we will carry for the rest of our lives. One such lesson is the simple egalitarian way that the people of Vanuatu have elected to establish levels of importance in the community. We have learnt that the pecking order in each Village is as follows;"
"Given the intellectual vault we have aboard our ship and the proximity to an election at home, we have established a Julia style peoples' forum and together with our new perspective, we will be discussing subjects such as;"
On Monday, Samskara's mice were here. We had better keep a close eye on their progress, to ensure they get to the right place.
We're bound to hear more, eventually...
By John Curnow
ORCV Melbourne to Vanuatu (M2V)
Tucked away nicely.
Sitting comfortably behind Chesterton Reef, like a cat curled up in the sun, is Tevake II, as she makes her way over to Mackay. Holly Fletcher had a call from Angus earlier on today, Tuesday July 27, to say that they had got there at 0600hrs AEST.
The Secretary is also in a lovely spot in Vanuatu's Islands, up North a little from Efate, where Port Vila is.
This is where they are in the region.
We received an email from Robyn Brooke this morning also. The HF radio has been fixed by Colin Miller (who usually speaks at events like the long distance seminars), who joined Robyn and Geo after the race for the jaunt through the islands and to assist with dropping off some of the loot that came over in the container. The email is the last one, from just before they got in and it goes a long way to adding detail to what we discussed on these pages, at the the time...
"Finally, we're barefoot sailing. Only the one layer now - we've swapped shoes for hats, neck warmers for sunnies and shorts for thermals. Although weary, yesterday's sailing conditions were sublime and for any of the crew who missed the 6-12 sky, tant pis! (never mind...) Yes, there's a little bit of school french coming through the boats now, as we sail from one country, blithely past la petite colonie de France, Nouvelle Caledonie, to our destination, Van-wa-tu, as Taupo Maritime radio call it."
"A minute of silence please for our brethren who are missing from this wonderful finale: The ORCV's very own veteran Yoko, 'all guns blazing' Gusto, 'the grannies in the caravan at the back of the fleet (and who win everything!)' Ingenue, arguably the best prepared and organised yacht Scarlet Runner and now ex-Commodore David Bingham and his buddies on Mirrabooka, who cruised over with the fleet in 2006 and decided to race this year. They are now anchored in a lagoon in New Cal with boat damage. The Taupo Maritime Radio operator last night was superb. She offered practical and timely assistance to the yacht and prepared their way into the marina in Noumea in a most professional manner. Thank you Taupo."
"George managed to crawl up and behind the wheel last night, every three hours or so, to give me a rest. The medical kit has been used to great effect, to minimise his pain and Turbo have promised him they will have a nurse waiting on the dock! Thanks Lynda for your great advice, I'm just not sure how we will get him up that plank."
"Now Geo is not a pill popper, so I have had my concerns about leaving him alone on deck at night, in his medicated state, but there was little option. We have had a constant companion overnight in Samskara and she kept a listening watch on the radio for us all night - thanks Kim, David and crew. Geo told me they had snuck through underneath us while I was resting last night - 'I saw their green light go past'. I wasn't so sure about that, as I would have seen them approach and there was still a boat light behind. At sked time, 0415hrs, they were one mile behind. Hmmm, green things that go past in the night. (What Robyn is referring to is that if they had gone below, it would have been a red light and at any rate, they were behind at sked time, so go figure...) Did I mention that Geo has been brushing up on his Bislama? The only expression other than Tankyu Tumas he recalls from his previous race, is 'titties in a basket', yep - bras." (Sounds like English to me, but what would I know?)
"Offshore Marine's, Colin Miller, is sourcing a new Raymarine drive unit for the Auto-helm and if he can't deliver it himself, hopefully our Chrissy Freeman will be able to bring it with her when she 'flies like a virgin' over here, to join us this weekend. She will definitely only have one layer, as in her kit she is also bringing us the replacement boom brake unit, which is the device that stops the boom from swinging wildly across in light breezes and lumpy seas. It has been very useful on this trip to reduce the stress on the rig and the risk of injury."
"For a short time this morning, I thought we might have to tack. Goodness, how do we do that? We've been on this tack since Wilson's Prom! As we approach our destination, I've done a stocktake of the fridge and have only had to feed the fish some chicken and salad greens. I found some treasures buried deep, so over the last couple of days we have enjoyed braised lamb in red wine jus, Peking Duck with spicy plum sauce and a superb porterhouse steak with fried rice last night. The weather is now perfect for salads, but I must say it has been hard work regulating the fridge temperature to keep the meat and the salads healthy. Thanks to the medication, Geo is not confined to his bunk, so I'm still able to prepare meals in my time off the wheel, just doing it a lot faster!"
This is what their overall routes look like, so far.
We'll keep bringing you the tales of the Coral Sea legends...
By John Curnow
Vanuatu to Mackay (V2M) 26/07/10
Competing yachts no longer require a race.
The three yachts that were expected to line up for the 2010 V2M have, in fact, decided to get to Mackay under their own auspices, possibly stopping at Chesterfield Reef en route. Turbo, Tevake ll and Samskara will now travel independently from Port Vila to Mackay. Australian Customs at Mackay have been informed and HF skeds will also be arranged for the vessels, as they make their own way back West. May they have a few days of glorious SE Trades to skoot them there pleasantly...
By John Curnow.
Above is what they're going to
leave behind and
below are the things they're heading to.
ORCV Melbourne to Vanuatu (M2V)
The Cat's Away...
... but the mice cannot come out to play, it would seem, as it's a little too bouncy back onboard the good ship 'Bouncy Castle' (aka Smaskara). From onboard, the mice have managed to take over the keyboard, however and this is what they have to say for themselves...
"It's an interesting thing, trying to leave Port Vila, you know. Immigration were booked to see us at 1:30pm on Sunday (after church). As we waited and waited, nobody showed up. There were lots of unanswered phone calls. Then the answer appeared, magically, in the sky!! We figured that there must be somebody from Immigration working at the airport. So off we went to the airport and sure enough, we walked through departures and explained our story. Five minutes later, our passports were stamped and we walked back out of the airport to take our own 'liner' home."
Samskara departing Port Phillip Heads during the 2007 M2H - pic © Steb Fisher.
"It's our first night back onboard the bouncy castle and there's not much difference to the trip up from Melbourne, except that we are on the opposite board (or tack/side which is facing the wind). We have 25 to 30 knots from the SE (love those Trades) and we are sitting on 9 to 10 knots SOG. We have the #3 headsail up with one reef in the mainsail. The evening sorted out two crew, who found the ride a little interesting, at best. We're back to being a happy ship, with the forecast being for more of the same. We were looking to stop at Chesterfield (reef) on the way back (to Hamilton Island to start with), however will need to watch the weather (and those reefs, which have jumped up in front vessels before!). Should be going through the Grand Passage, which is off the top of New Caledonia, tonight."
"Right now, it's a little too rough for the mice to play."
Thank you, Mice. You look after 'Bouncy Castle' and keep us informed.
This is where they were when they sent their message through.
We're bound to hear more, eventually... Why do I get the feeling they are like the Penguins from Madagascar????????????!!!!!!!!!!!
By John Curnow
ORCV Melbourne to Vanuatu (M2V)
Back in Having a Blast and then Crewmember Competition, we posed the question, was Rex the SatCom dome on the 51st Project, more useful that 'He of the loud shorts', Smithy (Graeme Smith). The other part of the question was whether Rex was in fact better looking than Smithy, as well.
Thank you to everyone. We received some great responses, including this one from The Girl, Lorraine Steers. Unfortunately, it smacks of insider trading, so it was excluded immediately, but it gets the honourable mention prize, none the less. What's that? I hear you say. Well, it's two Heemskirk Consolidated stubbie holders, which will go down a treat in their house for holding the cans of black.
Here's the Girl's response to the competition, "Smithy! On both counts. He is definitely more useful; he makes my coffee each morning; holds my hair back when I throw up and many other things that I can't mention, as this is a family show and needs to be PG rated."
"Smithy is definitely more handsome, even with his wimpy beard, as he's seen with, in this pic. I think he is the most handsome man I have ever seen, bearing in mind, that I have just been horse trekking through Mongolia, whilst he has been sailing to Vanuatu and this may effect my judgment. Cheers. The Girl."
The Winner. Well, he kept it clean and made us laugh and all the while showed true nautical and risk minimisation principles. "It would come down to what would be needed the most in a crisis situation. I'm sure Smithy's shorts could be used as a distress beacon or even a flare and I dont think we want to see Smithy without his shorts, so he wins!!! Tom Doherty."
As our winner, Tom Doherty will receive two spots on the start boat for their choice of either Le Coq de la Baie or M2L/M2HE/M2HW this Xmas time.
Competition winners - please contact Sally or Tanya in the office to redeem your prizes.
Many, many thanks to our friends aboard the 51st Project for inspiring the competition and providing the imagery.
Here's a close-up of poor old Rex.
More of something, soon enough...
By John Curnow