Leg 10 Freemantle to Bunbury
Anne Maree Wilson
Leg 10 Fremantle to Mandurah. By Ann-Marree.
My open ocean adventure started on Friday night when we (Geoff, Lewis
and myself) drove down to meet Paul at Fremantle Sailing Club for
sunset and dinner on Guinevere. Joining us were Deidre and her son
Oscar (both sailing) Tony, Jordi and Nina. Also Jody, Mal, Mia
and Jane and Mike. All 14 of us squeezing in very nicely and
making a great start to an amazing weekend. Dee, Oscar and myself
slept on aboard overnight so we could get an early start the next day.
Paul up first and the rest of us soon after - too excited to sleep in.
Time for a quick cup of tea then off by 7am-ish. The wind wasn't
strong enough to sail initially so we motored for the first couple of
hours. Paul busy showing us the basics and bringing us breakfast -
muesli, yogurt and fruit salad - yum. Seems there are alot of things
to look out for when leaving Fremantle - shallow water,reefs, sand
banks, buoys and other boats. Eventually got the sails up and skipped
along at a good speed. All of us taking turns to navigate, steer, put
sails up and down etc. Paul again very busy (and very patient)
correcting our mistakes and keeping us safe. (My first time at the
wheel I nearly took the boat on a 360)
Completely gorgeous feeling steering Guinevere with the sails up and
the wind behind us.
As we got closer to Mandurah we had time for some practice upwind and
down wind sailing and sudden stop - forgotten the correct yachting
Arrived at the new Mandurah marina at around 2pm happy to have beaten
the gale force winds that we knew where coming. Also happy to be on
firmer ground. We'd had a 2 meter swell most of the way and Dee and I
were feeling it. Oscar was more stoical and quite a bit more useful
especially towards the end.
Had a fun and cozy night on board. Steak and vege's for dinner
followed by a game of Yahtzee.
Sunday was planned as a marina day due to the bad weather. It wasn't
a hardship. Dee and I had lovely hot showers in the marina bathroom
and then we all had a big brekkie and coffee and a long
read of the weekend papers at one of the cafes. Geoff, Tony and
the children drove down at midday to check our progress and help us
kill some time. We spent the rainy afternoon cozied up in the cabin
looking at Westcott family and house photo's. All very pleasant and
Now at this point I am sorry to say Deidre and I got the jitters and
pulled out of the Monday Mandurah to Bunbury leg. "Sea Breeze" was
forecasting 4 to 5 meter swells!! Oscar was still keen but had to be
back at school for a physics test. Luckily Paul had Stephen Clarke
lined up for Oscar's spot and we talked Tony into replacing us at the
last minute. I was so grateful to Steve and Tony for taking over
ESPECIALLY when I heard about the great walls of water splashing over
the bow - and how everyone was sick including Paul.
All that aside it was a wonderfully memorable experience. Paul thank
you so much I loved my sailing weekend and having the opportunity to
spend some time with you. I look forward to tracking your progress as
you sail around the capes and into southern ocean and on towards home.
"Ode to Captain Paulie"
by Ruddy Turnstone
(with apologies as necessary... and with particular reference to some west
Captain Paul was a man
With a dream and a plan
To sail round the wide land of Oz.
His family was curious
For when they asked "Why do this?"
His reply was a simple "Just because".
He'd packed his new bags
With good gear, not rags;
A man of some pride is our Paul.
The boat was well stocked
With charts, books and clean socks
And provisions for crews one and all.
Now his mates were unruly
As he kissed dear wife Julie
And his daughters Lani and Mia.
They said their goodbyes
With tears in their eyes -
He'd be away for almost a year!
So with a wave and a cheer
Paulie left Pittwater pier
With all eyes on his gleaming white boat.
And he waved back one time more
To the throng on the shore
With a smile and a lump in his throat.
The trip up the coast
Was like whipped cream on toast
As they sailed to the top of Cape York.
In the warm Queensland sun
You could hear the bees hum
While the motor did most of the work.
To Darwin they soared
Where Ray Clarke climbed aboard,
The first of that scraggly band.
"Fish fear me" he said
As he chewed on some bread
With three rods and six lures in his hand.
But as they sailed through the swell
Ray wasn't so well,
His complexion the hue of sunscreen.
Then with a cough and a roar
He could take it no more
And spewed till his face went quite green.
At Broome before dark
They met Christine Clarke,
A collector of note is she.
With ribbons and bells
And her pockets full of shells
She said "Oh, why must I sit down to pee!"
With the sky a bright blue
Down the west coast they flew,
Paul's boat was powering along.
In the waves under the sky
Many beasts he did spy
Like crocs, whales and the occasional dugong.
At Exmouth the wind turned,
Paul's skin no more burned;
Rough weather was soon to ensue.
But Pete Doyle was elated
For a new crew awaited
Of more Clarkes - not one, but two.
Jim and John were their names,
From farm and forest they came
With credentials a little unclear.
But they soon settled in
With a slap and a grin
And quickly got into the beer.
Their first night at sea
Was filled with much glee
With just a wisp of black cloud approaching.
They donned their life jackets
And pulled on yacht ratchets;
Pete and Paul were doing the coaching.
It wasn't too long
As they sailed south and strong
That the wind from the west grew wilder.
And soon after dark
The boss did remark:
"Get ready lads, we're in for a blinder."
Now Pete Doyle has the oil
On sailing with toil,
A warrior of the sea is he.
With nonchalant ease
He merely scanned the high seas
And enquired: "Who'd like coffee or tea?"
As the yacht crashed its way
Through the foam and the spray
Pete and Jim took control of the craft,
While the Captain and John
Donned their long underjohns
And slept in their bunks, fore and aft.
Soon midnight grew near;
The crew felt no fear
Despite the fierce squalls and the thunder.
Pete and Jim were quite steady
When the Captain said "Get ready,
I see John is about to go chunder!"
Despite the ordeal
And a feed of wheatmeal
Mixed with cheese and mixed fruit on brown bread,
They reached their destination
With the aid of constellation:
The islands of the ghosts of the dead.
For five days, maybe more,
The crew went ashore
To escape the strong winds and bad farts.
They ate all the food
And sang songs loud and lewd
As the Captain consulted his charts.
At last the wind eased,
The Captain was pleased,
"We'll sail before dawn tomorrow,
But give me a wish,
I need to eat fish
Or else a new crew I will borrow!"
But no need to fear,
Jim and John were quite near
To the reef where the bluebone did swim.
In an hour and a half with a wink and a laugh
They were dining on fish with fine gin.
Tonight they sail south
With cooked food in their mouth
And fair wind on their four o'clock shoulder.
It's not long till sun-up
And with an ounce of good luck
They'll see mainland before they're much older.
So, notwithstanding the weather,
This mighty endeavour
To sail round the land of Australia
By this brave engineer
On his boat "Guinevere"
Will never be threatened by failure.