Ron and the new crew took the boat to Fremantle where she was pulled out on a travel lift overnight and put back in the water again next day. Ron was able to fix the leaky skin fitting in the forward crew cabin before heading down the coast. A big relief!
With a big storm and 30 knot winds they waited until Wednesday 11 June to set sail for Esperance. Stopped overnight at Augusta. Left Augusta Saturday 14 June, arrived Esperance Monday 16 June. While at the fuel jetty, Ron dropped the card in the water! Steve Taylor dived to the rescue to get the card out of the water and barely escaped hypothermia! It is definitely winter and much further south. So much so that Ron has decided to come home via Sydney and over to the North Island rather than Tasmania then Bluff. It is too cold! Departed Esperance Tuesday 17 June.
It was always going to be tricky going across the Great Australian Bight and with unheard of storms one after another the boys turned back on Wednesday 18 June to return to Esperance. With 40 knot winds on the nose in big seas their speed over ground was 3 to 4 knots. After travelling 30 miles they anchored for the night but dragged the anchor. 60 knot winds were predicted for the next 2 days so they kept going another 35 miles back to Esperance, the only safe harbour.
The auto pilot has started playing up again with an intermittent fault. Back to hand steering when the auto pilot fails:(
Friday 20 June - back in Esperance. Good to get a good night's sleep!
Saturday 21 June - off to the local pub, The Pier Hotel, to watch the All Blacks play England:)
Monday 23 June - left Esperance for Port Lincoln.
Friday 27 June - arrived Port Lincoln. Stayed at Port Lincoln Yacht Club marina. The manager of the yacht club kindly picked Ron up from the fuel jetty and showed him where the marina was. Unfortunately Ron's NZ phone fell out of his pocket and was run over by a car. If you have been trying to reach him and haven't got hold of him - now you know why! Once again the Australian hospitality knows no bounds!