I have created this blog with the hopes that you, my friend, will follow me as I sail around the world (figuratively or literally, not sure yet) with my parents on their Contest 48. Whereas I hope to keep you updated with exciting adventures of exotic ports and epic waves, keep in mind that cruising - that is, traveling by boat in a leisurely fashion - tends to be filled with days of intense boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Please keep this in mind as you read these entries, for this platform will be just as much an attempt for me to maintain my sanity (and connection to the California-based world), as entertainment and reassurance for you. And so, follow me as I sail the world.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Sailor's and Surfer's Paradise

Ah yes, Salty Schneider is back at it.  Well, was at it, for two days -- which, as far as I am concerned -- was plenty.  We arrived at the Oz-like setting that is the Gold Coast early this morning after smashing up the coast from Port Stephens for the past two days.  I say "smashing" but in reality it was a fairly easy sail with fresh southerlies and a nice current pushing us along the whole way.

We left Port Stephens in the dark on Easter morning.  For the first half day or so the winds were pretty light so we had to motor quite a bit, but in the afternoon the wind filled in and we had a steady 20+ southerly knot breeze pushing all the way to the Gold Coast.

 Because the seas were relatively calm we were able to have a nice Easter lunch of ham and scalloped potatoes, which was great because eating is by far my favorite pastime on passage (and in general, I suppose).  We had a beautiful sunset the first night followed by a bright moon all night, which when offshore, is a best friend.  There was quite a bit of freighter traffic along the coast so watches were a bit more vigilant than when we are hundreds of miles offshore, but all in all it was quite a relaxed passage.  I'd also like to give a shout out to the awesome current that pushed us north, enabling us to hit 10 knots surfing down waves under mainsail alone.

Two relatively easy days of sailing and now we are anchored off Surfer's Paradise.  (I say "relatively" because it takes, oh, an hour to fly from Sydney to the Gold Coast...)  But I am pretty stoked to have the boat backin Queensland.  It always feels good to get out and moving again, and it always feels good to get into a nice, calm, safe port after moving around as well.   

Looks like the plan is to kick it around Surfer's Paradise and the Gold Coast for a few days.  While Surfer's Paradise has a nice, long sandy beach and tons of surf shops, the waves are not that good and it is totally overrun with tourists.  But it does have a great name.  Who knows, maybe I will go fight the crowds and surf Snapper Rocks, just for the hell of it.

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