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Owner John & Joyce Easteal
Design Hallberg Rassy 42F
Length Overall(m) 12m 96 cm
Flag GBR
Sail Number 20

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Starblazer - Whether the weather be…

This rhyme which I had to recite in speech therapy when I was 5 seems most apt for sailors crossing oceans.It ends: whether the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not.The Indian Ocean crossing from Cocos Keeling to Mauritius is about 2,350 miles, expected to take between 14 and 16 days.Within this time frame a number of weather systems will develop and affect the conditions we experience.At least we have access to weather forecasting at sea via e-mails to the satellite phone, together with routing advice, luxuries not available in even the fairly recent past.Knowledge is one thing, being able to do much about it is completely different!The 5 day forecast before we left Cocos Keeling mentioned 4-5m swell, plus waves, on Friday and Saturday and a small low over a thousand. read more...


Starblazer - 29/09/2015 – Cocos Keeling

Wednesday evening, after dinner, John had a strike on his line, so did I almost simultaneously!I started winding mine in slowly, John allowed his fish to fight a bit longer.Eventually they were both on the surface about 15 metres behind the boat then one of them made a bid for freedom with the result that the two lines got crossed.I continued to wind mine in as John pulled the line manually, then his line chafed through and he lost both his fish and lure again.We landed a lovely mahi mahi weighing 2.5kg which John duly filleted and it is now in the freezer.As anticipated we arrived before sunrise, but dawn was lightening the sky. We anchored at about 0700 Lombok time, 0530 Cocos time.We had a busy time in these spectacular islands.Thursday we cleared in then straightened the boat. read more...


Starblazer - 17/09/2015 – The challenges of sailing

The wind is free, it can do as it pleases and often does!The first few days from Lombok to Christmas Island were characterised by feeble winds which are not meant to drive heavy cruising boats.Most of the fleet tried to sail until early evening when the wind died further and there was an adverse current, speed towards the waypoint reduced to a crawl.The lighter ‘flyers’ were ahead and kept a bit more of the breeze though all boats reported some engine hours on the 0900 SSB net.To motor at a reasonable speed one needs an adequate fuel supply reaching the injectors, that is where our problems began at 0300.The engine died so John got me back on watch to restart the engine while he bled the injectors, something which had worked when we had a similar problem in Cairns and again just before. read more...


Starblazer - 12/09/2015 - Lombok

The last 27 miles could have been worse, the wind came up to help us through the straight though the tide against us was up to 3 knots, rather more than the tidal data suggested.The slowest part was the last 5 miles to the anchorage which was straight in to the wind which was a healthy 17 knots and current.Where was this wind when we needed it?We certainly didn't need it for this section of the trip as it slowed the boat down and we could only make about 1.5 knots!Once in the anchorage we were directed to the refuelling point, took on only 400 litres having motored for 165 hours in total, then anchored in the mooring field.In places the mud is very soft so to prevent any chance of dragging John attached the Fortress on mud setting 5 metres ahead of the Delta.We have held firm.There was. read more...


Starblazer - 09/09/2015 – Taking the positives from a frustrating passage

I promise not to moan, except perhaps in the last paragraph!During the first 22½ hours, from start line to 0900 radio net, we sailedalbeit rather slowly tacking out of Darwin.The wind backed, allowing us toclear Bathurst Island without tacking yet again.Sadly the breeze wasrather weak and becoming increasingly weaker when we made the decision tostart the engine.At this point we were not last.We have now motored almost non-stop for 7 days.Every day we have stoppedthe engine for the duration of the radio nets which has given John thechance to check the oil and freshwater cooling levels.We still have abouta quarter of a tank, fantastic economy forced on us by the problems with theunbalanced prop.At 0957 local start time we crossed the finish line with an hour to spare!At times it looked. read more...

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