Landfall AUSTRALIA

We did it!!! It feels incredible to be safely berthed in the Coffs Harbour Marina in AUSTRALIA after sailing across the biggest ocean in the world to get here.

After I posted ‘Frustrating Day’, we had the most wonderful sailing conditions. The wind was soft but enough to keep us moving at 7 knots (HQ loves her light airs), the seas remained flat and comfortable, and the sky cleared up so we could enjoy full moon lit nights.  We think the ocean was telling us something: “Look how nice I can be when I behave. You know you love me and you know you’ll come back to me.”  It is true.

We saw land from 30 miles out. I cried because I was so happy and proud. And then I went back to bed.

20 miles out we could hear Coffs Harbour Marine Rescue Service on the VHF: “Marine weather warning: strong wind to gale forecasted”.  We were confused because the winds were still light and our gribs had showed 5-10 knots. We assumed we’d be motoring the final stretch, but it was not to be. The wind built quickly and before we knew it we had 35 knots from behind. No big deal for us, official Pacific Ocean sailors.

The challenging part was going to be getting into the marina. We called customs on the satellite phone and Anthony told us we could come to the service dock in front of the marina office rather than anchor outside. We did our worst ever mainsail flake (we blame the wind) before we motored through the narrow and shallow marina entrance. We tied up at the pier and it was official, we were in Australia.

Clearing customs was easy. Anthony is a really nice guy, even though he took all our oatmeal and granola and various other quarantined food items 😉 Within an hour our passports were stamped and we were allowed to set foot on shore. There were big smiles on our faces as we jumped up and down and a few laughs from people watching.

Because we were tied up at the service dock, quite a few people stopped to chat to us. Everyone is so friendly here. We’ve also noticed that Aussies apologize for everything in the same way that Canadians do – “I’m sorry for [insert non-issue that is completely not person’s fault anyway]. “ In a funny way, we feel like we’ve come home.

Today we woke up at 5am and we moved the boat into a proper berth. Will did an excellent job on the wheel, as always, but I think it was our hairiest docking experience ever since the wind was still howling. But that’s irrelevant because we’re safely tied up now. We’ve just given Hydroquest some well-deserved TLC: a haircut (the scraggly netting on her lifelines is finally gone), removal of the now useless empty jugs of fuel that were strapped down on her deck, and a good rinse and clean-up down below.

Next on the agenda is taking care of ourselves. I can’t wait for my haircut. We didn’t pop the champagne last night because we were just too tired and overwhelmed, but tonight before we go out for a celebratory dinner, we’ll toast to Hydroquest, adventure, and following your dreams. I can’t write that this experience was easy, but it has certainly changed us as people, has changed the course of our lives, and is definitely our biggest accomplishment in life so far.

31 thoughts on “Landfall AUSTRALIA

  1. Gina Campagnolo says:

    Woot woot congrats you two! Enjoy the champers tonight, ill toast to you both with a nice glass of wine!
    Xoxo
    Lots of love hugs and high fives

    Like

  2. Karen Curry says:

    Hallelujah!!! I am simultaneously laughing, crying and dancing around the room. We are so proud of you both. You are right – the people you are and the course of your life has changed. You “chose the road less travelled and that has made all the difference”. Now – enjoy your well earned celebrations. We send our love and – yes – now we can relax! Xxx Mom

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  3. Lynn and Doug Macfarlane says:

    Congratulations to you both. We’ve followed you adventure all through the South Pacific. We’re so proud for you. What an amazing feat!!! What are you plans now? You implied that you were leaving the sailing world, is that true? Have fun in Australia. “Gidday mates!”

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  4. Pat, Anne and Andrew Hurlburt says:

    Congratulations on a most amazing achievement!! You two are just such a huge
    inspiration and we’re so happy that you have reached your destination. Have fun
    exploring Australia!

    Like

  5. Bruce and Angie Brown says:

    Hi Will and Sarah, Welcome to Australia. If you make it down to Melbourne we would love for you to stay and enjoy the other most liveable city in the world (Vancouver is the other). Congratulations on a wonderful achievement

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  6. Wi says:

    Welcome back to the land of the living. So pleased to hear that you made it. Running low on fuel sound like your first real problem on the whole transit (as compared to the near misses at the volcano). You made it and now your life starts anew. You will have a more positive outlook on life for the rest of our lives. Enjoy!

    PS They call it landfall because that is what you do when you get on land; FALL!

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  7. Sarah and John says:

    Well done , you two! We’ll toast you this evening ….what an amazing journey!
    Lots of love from us all ( and granny, Jack and Joel )

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  8. Tara & Tim Boddington says:

    Where one journey ends another begins – Australia is such an amazing place to explore. Be careful not to get sucked in for good. It could easily happen! Congrats on achieving your goal and making it all the way across the Pacific safe and sound. We can all breathe a sigh of relief knowing the hard part is over, but will always have this question looming in the back of our minds:”When will the ocean succeed in calling you back to her?” Lots of love and big hugs xoxo

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  9. Gerry Humphries says:

    Way to go Will and Sarah! The biggest adventure and accomplishment so far but, knowing you two………………many more to come! Enjoy the land downunder. Maybe we will see you in NZ over Christmas/New Years with Nicky, Paul and Christian.

    Gerry and Linda.

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  10. Nancy Power says:

    Congratulations you two! What an amazing adventure/accomplishment. I am looking forward to hearing more from you two in person. Will, your mother will be sleeping much better!

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  11. D'Arcy Finley says:

    It’s been so enjoyable to be on the journey with you two (kind of). Congratulations on this incredible accomplishment. I’ll still keep clicking on my svhydroquest bookmark every day anyway out of habit!

    Enjoy Australia! best, D’Arcy Finley

    Like

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