10 000nm, a new ocean and 35 knots winds...

Words by: Bryson

Lat: 10 degrees 35 minutes S

Long: 142 degrees 09 minutes E

Khulula is sitting at the very convergence of numerous large events in her young life. One, as of today, she has sailed 10 000nm with some dirty crew members buggering with her sails every couple hours; Two, she is about to enter a brand new ocean; and Three, has spend the last 28 hours navigating one of the worlds busiest shipping channels, the torturous Torres Straight.

After spending 17 years sitting in La Paz, wondering if she ever be able to show her true inner ocean cruiser style, Khulula is now an ocean voyaging veteran with over 18 000 km or 10 000nm under her keel. Sometimes it has been hard, when her evil handlers would force her to sail INTO the wind, or reef her sails and not allow her inner race boat to flourish. However, when given the chance, she showed her true colours. For instance, just yesterday while sailing into the Torres Straight, under a quadruple reefed main sail and her smallest jib halfway furled, Khulula was rocketing along at 8 - 9 knots.

Khulula has also never been to the Indian Ocean. After spending every one of her 26 years in the Pacific Ocean, she is now anchored on the very doorstep of the Indian. Tomorrow, she will venture forth into the unknown with the same sort of get-'er-done attitude that epitomizes her character. Sure, there will be more storms, there will be more motoring, and more dodgy scruffy "sailors" living in her cabins, continuing their abuse of good sailing etiquette, but isn't that what traveling is all about!

Given the amazing coincidental confluence of these three situations, Khulula had no option but to anchor this evening off Friday Island, just 10 miles from the Australian continent. Given this date, we were FORCED to let our accompanying yacht, Kamoe, sail on while Khulula anchored in a nice sheltered corner. To do any less would downplay the importance of this date in the life of Khulula.

Despite the perfect sailing conditions of gusty 35 knots of wind, 6 ft steep and choppy seas, untold numbers of reefs to avoid, and the sleep depravation of her "crew", Khulula chose the road less traveled by and that has made all the difference…