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Sailing around Australian East Coast  Sydney — Cairns — Sydney , July-December 2007

We Moved to the Boat!



After 3 weeks of preparations we were finally able to leave the house and move to our yacht Empede, an Endurance 35 cutter rigged ketch. We left work on 30th of June and planned to start the trip on 7/7/2007, but we were not ready by then. I had a few boat-related sewing projects to finish: sail covers, rope pockets, windlass cover, computer cover, sunshade, new bed linen, including fitted bed sheets for each bunk mattress, and curtains with the help of Gonzie’s mum. Provisioning and packing also took some time.

Gonzalo in meanwhile was busy with big projects: fitting the wind generator and electric windlass (anchor winch) installation. There are a few more things to do, but the boat is never “finished” anyway: we already spent 1.5 years preparing for the trip (the major works included changing the rigging and fitting in a new diesel engine) and now we will just live with what we have.


We brought in 2 full car-loads of stuff and it looks like it is not going to fit in the boat. What a mess! It feels like we moved houses. Where on earth will we fit everything?  We probably should have left half of the stuff at home.


Gonzie’s parents took the car back and we spent some time with friends. Plucky with Taylor, Pricilla, Brett and Simon came to see us off and brought some take-away and wine.



The whole day was spent on cleaning up the mess and storing things away. It’s raining anyway and it is better to start the trip if everything is in order.

It is amazing how the boat has a lot of small lockers, drawers and small storage spaces. You won’t be able to fit in big boxes and suitcases, but things will fit in separately.

As we were going away for 6 months, we brought a lot of clothes. In Sydney and Coastal NSW the wind is cold, especially at night.  In the tropics is hot and you need only light clothes. Gonzie’s parents, who had been cruising in Caribbean, say you don’t need any clothes in tropics apart from swimmers and towels.


We setup IKEA soft drawers in our bedroom, which, to my surprise fit lot’s of clothes. I already realised that we brought way too much and even started to pack the bag to send back home. Well, at least we don’t need to spend money buying clothes.


I had a nightmare later that five guests came onboard with big suitcases :).


Packing the food was the other issue. We wanted to pack as much basic supplies as possible as we had a car here and wanted to avoid having to carry food by hand in other places. Gonzie won the fight for the space under the second couch cushion and put his tools there, so I had to find spaces elsewhere, which meant storing away dry pasta and rice packages into the lockers above the port bunks. Packing glass jars is a hassle as each had to be individually bubble-wrapped and packed under the floorboards together with the cans. The alcohol bottles are also bubble-wrapped and places in our “bar” behind the seat cushion. Before the trip we bought a 50L Waeco portable fridge where we will keep meat, cheese, butter, sour cream, some vegetables and cold drinks. The fridge doesn’t fit much, which is a pity, as we are both used to eating fresh food and will need to re-stock more often. It was rather hard to pick the right canned food as at home I mostly shopped for food in fruit &vegetable markets and butchers and even made my own pasta sauces.  Pre-made food is also more expensive which doesn’t do any good to our “cruising budget”. I hope we will be catching a lot of fish along the way, but still need to provision well in case we won’t.



Empede at the wharf in Careel Bay — all is ready to go!


Careel Bay, Pittwater, where we keep the boat

This storage system make the fruit last longer

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