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3 of 5

3 of 5

Greetings from the land down under! This morning at 0415 UTC+7 Apr 8, I passed longitude 115 08E and under Cape Leeuwin. As far as I am concerned, I am in Australia’s back yard.

It has taken more than 150 days to get here. Fingers crossed, knock on wood and never spit into the wind, if my luck holds I will pass under 3 of the 5 great Capes in a little more than 30 days.

Conditions here now are a little exciting to say the least. And here seems awfully far from home and it’s hard to believe I’ve sailed more than 17,000 miles. I could have been here but yesterday at 1730 I put the brakes on after getting absolutely pounded twice in rapid succession. Conditions ahead of me were forecasted to be 35-40 knots, seas to 21′, and gusts to 50-60 knots under showers. None of that sounded like a lot of fun.

Now we idle along waiting for the front to pass over using us around midnight tonight. In the meantime, I watch for when I must alter and head more downwind to avoid the worst of the building and breaking seas.

Ambling under a Great Cape seems disrespectful and arrogant. I feel I should be up the mast at the trucks, teeth grit and fists clenched as the wind tears at my hair. Instead, I am below thinking if I should have Earl Grey or Bengal Spice. Whenever I get the urge to hurl insults at the elements and crowd on more sail, I look outside and think harder about what kind of tea I would like.

Sir Salty is hard at work asleep. When I bellowed “Cape Leeuwin at last” directly into his whiskers he budged not an inch. Port and Starboard however shifted from their assigned stations to become Starboard and Port thinking, I assume, that that would be appropriate as everything is backwards down under, including aids to navigation.

I have family here. My mother’s parents and siblings migrated to Australia from the Netherlands in the late 1940s an early 1950s. Part of me feels almost at home here and I am glad of it. Home they say is where the heart is and my heart goes out to my Uncle Joe and cousins here.

For now, diligence and attention rules the day. There is still work to do and the elements are still my master. No rest for the weary, but my heart is full buoyed by thoughts of family, my home away from home, and the good luck, fortune, and answered prayers that have brought me this far.

Follow my tracks in real-time:


  • BT
    Posted at 10:41h, 02 July Reply

    Bert, you are amazing! Following you progress and posts with great admiration for you courage and wishing / willing you success. You are on the downhill run now. All the best from an Aussie follower BT ( 2 degrees of separation from your Uncle Joe).

  • Sandi Lyon
    Posted at 03:20h, 06 July Reply

    That looks about right. When it’s hot out in the ocean, its foggy and wet on the Wet Coast. That means you’re on the right track, heading the right direction. Finally. Woohoo.

  • Anita Kuntz
    Posted at 00:10h, 08 July Reply

    Following you journey and am truly amazed.

  • Suzan Persons
    Posted at 15:43h, 09 July Reply

    What an amazing journey!!

  • Karin Hill
    Posted at 15:27h, 13 July Reply

    Been following you for a couple of months now. What an amazing journey! Your blog is insightful and humorous. Almost home. Safe travels!

  • MountainJack
    Posted at 19:52h, 14 July Reply

    Has to be an amazing feeling to be so near home, Bert.

    Have spent months at sea “steaming”, not sailing, gaining my sea legs with the constant motion just became second nature. Getting back to a stable platform at dockside or over on the beach left me wobbly for a day or two. Cannot imagine how you’ll feel after a year of hardly ever being stable. There is that other thing having been on your own for that long; the familiarity of constant aloneness , the feeling of approach avoidance, being forced back into humanity. Might feel as though you could just extend a little bit more and savor the experience just a little longer…naw, probably not.

    Welcome back home, Bert. You’ve completed one heck of a feat.

  • Arthur Oliver
    Posted at 04:33h, 15 July Reply

    Getting oh so close. What’s the ETA?

  • estelle C whiddon
    Posted at 02:58h, 16 July Reply

    Bert, your homecoming Saturday will be a joyous occasion! I have followed the voyage daily and hope your arrival home brings much joy.

  • Peter Jungschaffer
    Posted at 07:19h, 18 July Reply

    This has been so great. Thank you!!!

  • BT
    Posted at 09:50h, 18 July Reply

    Hi Bert, you are just a few hours away from home. We are cheering for your most successful journey. We are especially amazed at the sailing conditions below Australia and New Zealand, as we can have some very big polar blasts hit us at this time of the year. Cannot imagine what it was like to sail through that type of weather. Can only take of hats off to you I amazement. Hope that you make it to Oz for a visit. What a wonderful achievement you have accomplished. /bt

  • Antonio Corbelletta
    Posted at 16:15h, 18 July Reply

    Congratulations! What an adventure! Well done. I have enjoyed tracking your voyage everyday just wish I would have know about it earlier, from the beginning.

  • Suzan
    Posted at 18:13h, 18 July Reply

    Yeahhhhhhhhh Bert!!! You have done it!!!
    Happy Homecoming – And stay safe!!!
    It isn’t the same world that you left!!
    I’m going to miss reading your travels and your adventures!! But thrilled that you’re home (almost) safe and sound!!
    Next trip around the world, hope that you’ll stop along the way and post your photos of the locals and the ports!!

  • Raegan Elford
    Posted at 19:23h, 18 July Reply

    Soldier who has logged more sea time than this Navy sailor.
    What an incredible accomplishment (the journey vice logging more sea time than I)

  • Marianne Scott
    Posted at 18:25h, 19 July Reply

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! I guess we will have to put up a plaque commemorating your voyage on the Victoria Harbour wall.

    Hope to see you this week.

    Marianne Scott

  • Tom Cory
    Posted at 07:40h, 23 July Reply

    Congradulations Bert from Annapolis MD. A Great Adventure.

  • Mark
    Posted at 12:24h, 29 July Reply

    I don’t think that anyone that attended Estevan Junior High could have imagined that this was in the future for one of it’s students. I checked in at different legs of the journey and was fascinated every time. Congrats!

  • Marcel Neamtu
    Posted at 07:14h, 06 December Reply

    What an adventure! But i do have a comment about the structure of the blog: it’s very hard for a late reader to read your earlier posts in a timely order or something. Very annoying to scroll all the time to your earlier posts..is there anything or I can be done? Am I missing something? If yes, pardon my ignorance.
    Cheers and take care!

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