There is something compelling about the ocean and like all sailors, I am drawn to it. Sailing on Ocean Gem across the Tasman Sea from Australia to New Zealand was an experience of epic proportions. The encouragement and support by skipper David Hows was brilliant.
Ocean Gem was primed, well equipped and wonderfully catered for, with safety first and prime focus on learning and fun. There was always great energy and comradeship throughout the passage amongst the crew. I put my hand up for everything and loved every minute.
The majority of my sailing experience has been racing so the Trans-Tasman passage gave me time to dial in and focus on my proficiencies, more time helming, trimming, learning advanced navigation systems, along with sharing knowledge, stories and jobs with the crew.
When the sea decided to spice things up and things got hectic and challenging, there was a calm quality about Dave as he organised the crew, our response and quick recoveries got us back on course and managing any repairs that needed attention. When I required emergency medical help, Dave took care and my safety was paramount, enabling me to enjoy the last leg of the journey.
I personally loved the solo sailing at night, nerves aside and trusting in all my abilities, star navigation combined with hi-tech equipment for optimum performance. Hearing the hum of Ocean Gem was superb.