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The Rock-itt : August 2011
Welcome to a new adventure trip by our Northern Beaches own Indiana Jones, Christopher Bray. If you are a long time reader of The Rock-itt you might recollect the series about Chris Bray and fellow adventurer, Clarke Carter and their incredible and arduous trip across Victoria Island in 2008 making them the first human beings to accomplish this feat. Since the Victoria Island crossing, our Chris has been on more adventures which are well documented on his website. Chris has recently started another adventure and we will be taking you on a three month series as Chris and partner, Jessica Taunton, sail their 29ft yacht on a voyage from Canada to Australia that is bound to have all sorts of happenings along the way. So hang onto your hats as we take off on another exciting adventure with our own Mister Adventurer, Chris Bray and fellow adventurer and partner Jess Taunton. Ahoy there! Chris Bray and Jess Taunton here - two young Australian's, setting sail on the adventure of a lifetim e! Having bought a tired old yacht in Canada in 2009, we spent three months in 2010 rebuilding her, and have re-named her 'Teleport', fallen in love with her, and are now sailing her hom e to Australia, as slowly as possible, via all the world's coolest and most remote places - starting with the infamous Northwest Passage in the Arctic above Canada! Considering as Jess has never been sailing before, and Chris is still reading up on junk- rig yachts and hand-starting single- cylinder boat engines, we can promise the next few years will be exciting, scary, heart-breaking and hilarious! Surrounded by friends on 3:45 PM Sunday 19th June we untied Teleport and everyone helped ease her back out of the marina berth in Halifax - and that was it - with much waving and goodbyes, we were off! At last! Looking up at the Armdale Yacht Club as we passed, the windows were full of waving people, and tearing our gaze from them at last and focusing on helming Teleport down the Northwest Arm out to the Atlantic Ocean, it was then I think, that realisation finally hit me. I was a little nervous about the enormity of the challenges ahead, and the gnawing question if we are prepared enough. The next morning we pulled into St. Peters Marina, Nova Scotia, tied up and before we could even step ashore we were visited by all sorts of different yachties coming to welcome us. W e spent two peaceful days spent fixing and improving several systems we at last pulled ourselves together and left. Armed with great info, advice, and encouragement from several other lovely yachting couples we enjoyed m eals with them, we sailed up through the spectacularly scenic and wonderfully protected Bras D'or Lakes. W e made it - our first 'crossing' - from Nova Scotia up to Newfoundland, and what a beautiful part of the world it is up here in the Gulf of St Lawrence! Full of wildlife, waterfalls, fog and friendly people! We've had Atlantic Puffins with their large multi-coloured beaks bob past us on the waves (ever since I was a kid I've wanted to see a puffin!), we'v e had minke whales surface right beside us, and pods of dolphins dance and cavort around Teleport's bow, seemingly suspended in the impossibly clear water. We’re going to sail off again, perhaps direct to St. Anthony's around the northern tip of Newfoundland, and our jumping off point to Greenland! So we've sailed up the beautiful west coast of Newfoundland, through the fog, icebergs, whales and dolphins of the Strait of Belle Island, around the top Northern tip and we're now here in St. Anthony on the North East corner of Newfoundland, ready to sail to Greenland - an epic 8-ish day crossing. However, the next morning we found large amounts of water sloshing about in the bilge! Scooping some up, I hastily tasted it and ignoring the hint of diesel, oil and other scum that always accumulates in a yacht's bilge, I was pleased to detect that the water was not salt water. So the good news was we weren't sinking, but the bad news was there must be a leak somewhere in our 200L drinking water tank! Damnit! Just what we don't need right now!!! So after tightening all the hose fittings hoping that may have been the culprit, water continued to flow out,