After being out of the country for 6 months of adventure, I found myself bored after being home for just 6 weeks. I was already dreading the impending return to work and was searching for something interesting to do with my last week of freedom before sitting back at a desk. Uninspired I scrolled through Facebook and up popped a post in the She Went Wild Australia & NZ Facebook group that I couldn’t ignore.
“Hey I hope it’s ok to post this in here, we are looking for volunteer crew to sail from the Gold Coast to Sydney we’re leaving tomorrow (Tuesday)! It should take 5 or 6 days and will be an amazing adventure. No sailing experience needed but it would be helpful if you don’t get seasick and are ok with doing night shifts. Check out our last adventure (linked)! Anyone is welcome so please share! “ – Heather & Pete
My heart skipped a beat. I counted the days I had free and worked out I’d return Sunday night, ready for my new job to start Monday morning. I had another “this is so wild it might just work” moment, contacted them and then booked a 6am flight to the Gold Coast (QLD) where I would meet the crew the next morning.
Once landed in Coolangatta airport I met Heather and Pete, a naturally attractive couple who somehow made track pants and sneakers look cool with a
Together we caught two buses to the wharf where we did groceries for the week and met final volunteer crew member John who learnt about the trip on a gumtree ad. John was a character, he lived off the grid on his property in outback Queensland and immediately jumped into telling us about his letters to the government to get out of paying tax and explaining why Trump was necessary for America. We were in for an entertaining few days together.
After loading the boat with belongings and groceries we started our trip down to Sydney. It was warm and sunny, we were buzzing with anticipation of the days ahead and my head was spinning that only 24hrs earlier I had no idea I was going to be on a yacht. Pete guided us out of the bay and then got straight into explaining how things worked. I’d hit the jackpot with a luxury yacht meaning autopilot did most of the work for us. The majority of my job was to keep an eye on the GPS for other ships, ensure we weren’t drifting off course, and to catch the spinning wheel and correct us when autopilot went into overdrive.
Sailing at a considerably fast 7 knots the boys volunteered for the first night shift sending the Heathers to bed at 10pm. Sleeping on the couch in the cabin was snug as I drifted off to sleep while we gently rocked.
Relieving the boys Heather and I got up at
Out in the
Luck wasn’t all on our side though and weather forecasts showed a storm front coming our way. Pete made the call to stop in the protected bay of Coffs Harbour for the night for some shelter. Back on
While waiting out the storm at the marina we curled up in the cabin together watching movies and sharing stories over a few drinks. It turned out John was quite the conspiracy theory expert (we should have seen that coming really) so he took the time to get us up to speed on all sorts of interesting things.
Early in the
The weather didn’t let up for us either, so we hung out on the boat with other sailors ready to leave first thing the next morning.
With the team now down to
The swell grew to a daunting 3 metres and in a few
Things soon calmed down, so Heather and I took the first half of night shift with Pete coming up at
Through the early hours of the
After a few
Still on the boat we spent the morning cleaning; putting away items which had been tossed around the cabin, collecting the rubbish, hosing the deck and cleaning the kitchen and bathroom.
Once finished we jumped in the tinny and Pete and Heather dropped me at Manly ferry wharf before they returned to land themselves. A quick ferry ride through Sydney Harbour and a train from the city and I was home. In my new
If you want to meet Heather and Pete and experience a trip on the yacht you can check out their website at www.sydneysailingcharters.com.au.