Like the one winged seagull

Miss Molly 4
Bob & Peggy Wilkerson/Geoff & Merel Pettifer
Tue 26 Apr 2011 12:55
27:57.09 S
153:25.32 E

Hello all,

We kept looking in Coff's Harbour for the seagull flying in circles but we did not spot it. So with a forecast for winds from the Southeast we decided to make the dash for Southport in Queensland. Since that is more than a 150 mile trip we left at 2 a.m. Well that was the plan. But it was bucketing down at that time so we waited until it got dry, 3 a.m. It did not stay dry for long and our first bits of sailing was in rain squalls just on the headsail. When we were to have our breakfast, Geoff unfurled a bit of mainsail so that Merel could cook a bit easier. When he checked the sail again after breakfast 2 tears had appeared and a whole sailpanel in the lower aft part of the sail was in bits. We carefully furled the main back in and moved it mentally up the priority list to get it to the sailmaker as soon as we get to Manly. We were actually quite fortunate that it happened when it did and not when we were in a stress to furl the sail away or during a wind blast. So we had to do the rest of the long day trip on just one of our 2 wings, just like our seagull. Not that Molly found herself hampered by that as she just rolled along the big seas in her usual happy hippo style.

Wind bullets kept coming our way, particularly after the unexpected forecast for strong wind warnings. And along with the wind came the rain, we could see what we were in for on radar! After dark we got across the Queensland border and dolphins accompanied us towards the seaway entrance. One of them jumped so high out of the water that it made Geoff jump too! We could easily distinguish the entrance lights to the breakwater channel, but as we turned into the channel, surfing down the waves, that rain cloud that was looming on the radar screen opened up. Welcome to Southport!! We dropped the anchor at 22:35 and are now having a little nightcap to celebrate our safe arrival after another boisterous trip.

Tomorrow we will probably rest up here before we make the final hop to Moreton Bay, Manly/Brisbane.

Cheers from your crew,

Geoff & Merel