April Seymour – Retired
As a recreational sailor and an inshore skipper, I have always wanted to do a ‘real’ offshore sail. To take myself out of my comfort zone and perform in any conditions the wind and the sea would throw at me.
I saw David Hows offering me this adventure on Ocean Gem. I picked Southport to Lord Howe Island, honestly thinking if it was really 4 days of hell I could get off and fly home. However, the wind and weather were brilliant 15 – 17kts, seas up to 2m so we got along nicely.
It was such a great learning curve, sailing at night, safety gear and participation in night watches and not sleeping well. I’d sailed at night before but with a moon, so as the moon was late rising, we just sailed headfirst into the pitch black. This changes your sailing. The concentration is intense at 3 am when you’re tired and trying to keep the boat on an even keel watching the compass or the stars.
Concerns of safety are well and truly covered with David. He takes this very seriously. He always has a plan B. His quiet confidence in his safety procedures made for an enjoyable trip. David stays calm and totally patient with us taking the time to get the job done without adding any extra pressure or stress. I definitely learned a lot and the experience will make me a better skipper. I also appreciated that David screens the people that come on board to ensure an enjoyable experience can be had by all. It’s a team effort and trust in each other is an important part of the trip. The food was great too and designed to be easy to prepare at sea.
The highlight was being able to stop for the night at Middleton reef, relax and enjoy such an incredible location 500km offshore in the middle of the Tasman sea. David, thanks for the adventure.