We think the family cruising adventures from the Anasazi Girl are some of the most interesting and unique of any. Below is a female perspective that you don’t often read…
The third week of September, the boat was ready, we were ready, and the weather looked good for us to depart Freo. A big thanks to Chris Bowman, Joel Ciszek, John Lyus, and the Windrush crew for helping us get sorted with the final items on our punch-list.
By then I was 6 months pregnant, and moving slower. This trip would be the second Southern Ocean passage for baby #3 in the womb. During the previous voyage from Cape Town, I didn’t realize that my excess seasickness and fatigue were just first trimester symptoms until we arrived and I started to investigate the cause of what became a rapid case of the “landfall belly.” Check-ups, scans, and tests were all healthy and good, and everything low-risk. Our sailing tribe would now be complete and Anasazi Girl would be making miles with her biggest crew yet.
In Freo, Tormentina and Raivo celebrated their 4th and 2nd birthdays. Both of them grew up fast in the four months we were in WA. Raivo especially, who was now off the breast-milk, talking like crazy, and in the first weeks of September, he had trained himself to use the toilet. This would be our first passage without diapers! What a nice reprieve with the upcoming arrival of #3.
Our plan was to depart Fremantle and sail via the Bight to the south-side of Tasmania. If we needed or wanted to stop, we could pull into Hobart, but if the boat and everyone were well, the weather forecast favorable, then we would continue non-stop to New Zealand.
The day before we left, my friend Madeleine Stephens helped me do a final provisioning with my wild kids at the supermarket. That afternoon & evening, we said goodbyes to all the good friends we had made in Freo. Super nice to have so many people call, come by the boat, and send us their good wishes.
On Sunday, September 23rd at 3:45 am, our friend Bruce Diggins and his son Oakie showed up at the dock to help us untie our lines in the dark. The last time we were helped off the dock at night was in La Trinité-Sur-Mer, by our friend Stephane Fauve. It is unbelievably nice to have a send-off by friends like this, and especially appreciated at such an early hour in the morning!
Just after 4 am, we were on our way, booking it south to get ahead of a low pressure system that was forecasted for the Bight. Big relief for me to finally be on the water again, away from the land, in motion, and on another adventure with my family.
By Day 3 we rocking and rolling, the miles melting away. We had passed Cape Leeuwin, and were moving along nicely ahead of the big, slow moving front. As we headed toward Tasmania, it was uncomfortable with big waves, bumpy seas, and wind speeds building up in the 40s and 50s. Moving around underway was more difficult with my big belly and I was still finding it hard to keep the food down. The kids and I were hunkered down, safely tucked into the berths, not moving around much in the cabin. No trips to the head solo for either of the kids, no using the stove, & just eating simple food that required no cooking. These were the conditions I had expected for the Southern Ocean. Then things got complicated. Read on.