Published on Thursday April 9, 2020
A tale of two saltwater cowboys and a job that must be done!!
The life of any good yacht broker is certainly not mundane. Selling the Mystic II, a beautiful Moody 41 Classic, was just the easy part. The escalation of the Covid 19 and an imminent closing of the borders to Queensland. There was just one stumbling block: the boat was in Sydney, the new owner in Brisbane.
Mystic II is a well prepared and very well-maintained sailing yacht. It was an easy and immediate decision. As we had good knowledge of the historical care and improvements for the boat and her safety level.
But what about the delivery? Well, there it was… Matt and Brendan leaving in the midst of a health crisis. A darkening sky and a following wind and sea. No stops to Gold Coast. Just a nice 360-mile holiday – hardly!
The lumpy seas and swirling breezes! It meant that these cowboys of the sea had a pretty tiresome first 40 hours sailing voyage.
It was quite an eerie trip. Amazingly quiet and ghosting offshore were just a few cruise ships “trying to land”. Almost no recreational or fishing traffic, and surprising few sea birds. They got very lucky with visits from dolphins each evening and morning to cheer them up and lead them northwards.
From the heads to Port Stephens it was a washing machine ride, but with good speeds. Onward to Seal rocks was a mishmash of headwinds and more of lumpy seas. By late next evening the team were approaching Coffs. Making their way carefully in the dead darkness of night through the Solitary Islands, the motion had eased, and they finally began to enjoy the ride and good drinks and meals!
Our skilled sailors on a mission
With both Matt and Brendan being acceptable navigators and capable Sailors, it was an easy rolling watch of 2 hours on and 2 hours off through the nights.
Approaching the Queensland border, they wondered just what reception they would have due to the Covid 19 scenario. Sailing from Byron through to Point Danger it was a brilliant trip with wind just aft of the beam, and a lovely smooth sea.
The radio reports were increasingly testy, as clearly the rules of entry offered choices of arrival at Tweed Heads, heading back to Ballina, or pushing on to the Gold Coat seaway and into the quarantine anchorage until our fate could be decided.
The vision of two desperados heading for the “borderline”, was not lost on our two young but ageing hippies, who were heartily singing “dirgy” snippets of L Cohen, James Taylor and even Dylan. The irony of a new world order of restrictions evolving was not lost on them.
Finally, when reaching the Southport tower late in the night after 58 hours of sailing, they were directed by the Queensland water police and Marine services to the Quarantine anchorage off Australia Fair shopping centre for the night. Look at those tired but relieved faces:
Successful sailing trip… What now!?
After dropping anchor, they were left to ponder the scenarios , from two weeks stuck aboard in quarantine, or sailing back to New South Wales.
“On reflection it was a great trip. We had a really nice time, enjoyed the sailing and thanks to Matt’s good IPad navigator, we knew we had covered some 403 miles, at an average speed of 7.5 kts, and a top surfing speed of 15 kts. But all that meant nothing if we were forced to quarantine and could not hand over the boat” remembers Brendan.
Waking up early on Sunday morning, they made contact with all the stakeholders – Queensland health, Queensland Water Police and the marine Services of Queensland. Very fortunately they ticked all the boxes: Commercial delivery, correctly registered boat, no evidence of Covid 19, and we had a berth to go to at Southport Yacht Club.
Amazingly if was a “green light”, and a very friendly sign off with each authority, and a commendation for their patience and correct due diligence. The remainder of their Sunday was a whirlwind of handover to new owner. He is a very experienced sailor and capable boat owner.
A very successful handover, and fully respecting the distancing rules. Next was an Uber trip to Coolangatta Airport to make the only flight that day. Thanks to a very welcoming Qantas crew, Matt and Brendan enjoyed a VIP trip back to Sydney, on a very empty airplane.
Well, we can now feel sure we were the very last boat to enter Queensland before an official closing of the border. Vicsail felt extremely lucky to be able to make the successful delivery of Mystic II from Sydney to the Gold Coast. But with the new reality, we support and respect the lock-down rules. But cannot wait to turn into the Saltwater cowboys of the Oceans again… Riding those bareback waves towards another borderline adventure.
Here is a video of the beautiful Moody 41 “Mystic II”. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive a notification every time we add a new video!