Blue Water Dreaming
Back to Cruising Life - It's all about the weather
From Plan A to Plan B - April 2013
Every night we check the weather maps and every morning we get an email from Roger Badham, the weather expert we hired to give us advice on our trips. Roger is an expert on weather and trip advice for sailors and he is famous around the sailing community. If you need weather advice we definitely recommend Roger, also known as Mr Clouds.
Mr Roger Clouds
Roger Badham weather advice link:
Trying to find a window for the trip Sydney-New Zealand, Roger keeps saying it is a 'no go' with a following series of 'no change' and this morning the latest is 'No change this week to the lousy conditions'. With all the technical explanations, the result is that there may be a possible window, 'leaving Sunday and going fast, may be doable but not enjoyable.'
We are thinking we want 'enjoyable', we don't need 'doable'. So, we wait and start thinking that if one can't change the weather at least one can change the plans. Just a thought.
Then, another low coming down the Tasman Sea with this forecast: 'a very intense low coming down close to Lord Howe Island next Sunday afternoon and night (14th) with gale force cyclonic winds. Once that has cleared, and the S winds ease on the NSW side of the Tasman, hopefully things may become more settled'. And right then and there Plan B wins over Plan A.
Plan A forgotten, we are now targeting plan B:
Lord Howe Island-New Caledonia-Vanuatu

But, this is the cruising life and you never know, plans may change again.
Around Sydney Harbour, back to life on board, waiting for favorable weather in the Tasman Sea
With forecast of bad whether for the weekend in Sydney we decide to go get one of the moorings at Sugar Loaf Bay. While marveling at the quiet bay remembering the many times we've been here in our previous motor-boating life we see Blue Glass approaching. Jeff and Helen were  our neighbours in Cammeray Marina in their Lagoon catamaran and it was great to see them again.
As it turns out, there is a rendezvous of the Coastal Cruising Club of Australia (CCCA) in the bay, and several boats with the distinctive yellow burgee start arriving. Blue Glass had just joined the Club and Jeff introduced us to them and a windy, rainy, miserable weekend turned into a fun filled social gathering.  When the weather clears on Sunday we leave Sugar Loaf thanking our new CCCA friends for the warm welcome into their social activities. It was great fun.
Part of the CCCA crowd gathering for breakfast on shore
Having crossed the Spit Bridge in the midday opening we grabbed a mooring at the other side, ready to leave early next day.  Finally there is a good window and we are ready, we are leaving tomorrow morning towards Lord Howe Island. With butterflies in my stomach we start a new cruising season!
The Coastal Cruising Club of Australia.
here for more info
At this point, when evaluating options, plan B (Sydney-New Caledonia-Vanuatu-Brisbane) seems quite attractive. On the plus side there are a lot less miles to cover with easier sailing as it excludes the hard bit, getting in and out of New Zealand. On the down side, Bay of Islands and Tonga are out of the picture. After a hard look at these options, and another look between the 2 of us, the question regarding changing plans is Why?, or rather Why not?