Destarte' and Zygote

Meryl and I were re-stowing our stern anchor rode and the dinghy outboard - both of which had been off the boat for the past few months - in the lazarette this afternoon (Tuesday November 29).

We were below in the cabin and heard a cheerful voice hailing Zygote.

None other than Jerry of BCC Destarte’!

Jerry and Destarte’ entered Australia at Bundaberg and is contemplating sailing south the additional 200 nautical miles to sit out the coming cyclone/hurricane/tropical revolving storm season (December to April, with March usually the peak month).

The pundits suggest the Queensland, the northeastern state of Australia, will experience 5 cyclones this season, with 2 in the severe (Category 3 and above) category. Two of the 5 cyclones are expected to cross the coast. The prediction for all of Australia is 13 cyclones (three more than the historical average).

The strong El Niño meant the just past cyclone season, 2015/2016, was quite unusual, the least active cyclone season since 1969. Only three cyclones in all of Australian waters. Only one of those 3 cyclones crossed the coast and it did so in Western Australia, the other side of the continent.

If all goes to plan, Destarte’ will join Z on F dock!


“Jerry and Destarte’ entered Australia at Bundaberg and is contemplating sailing south the additional 200 nautical miles to sit out the coming cyclone/hurricane/tropical revolving storm season (December to April, with March usually the peak month).”

Jerry might want to consider spending the southern summer cruising in NSW. We found the summer wx in QLD to be too warm and too humid for our 70+ year old bodies. We tried to spend our winters in QLD and our summers in NSW. And alternate winters in Vanuatu. Of course if Jerry just wants to park the boat and not stay on it all summer, then Scarborough would be fine. The December we spent in Scarborough about did us in.

Bil and Meryl were very kind to me when I was scouting out possible marinas for the cyclone season. When I was walking the docks at Scarborough, I was delighted to see Zygote berthed there. I’ve enjoyed Bil’s posts in this site for many years, and even have his stability manual and crew primer printed out and aboard Destarte’.

A friend from San Diego working temporarily in Sydney came up ad crewed for me and we sailed Destarte’ down through Hervey Bay, the Great Sandy Strait and out the Wide Bay Bar to Scarborough over New Year’s. About 10 miles offshore, we were treated to more than half an hour of dolphins diving at our bow. There was a juvenile, and it looked like the adults were teaching it how to dive the bow of a proper sail boat.

At midnight on New Year’s, we were hove to about 10 miles off Mooloolaba, to time the entrance to Moreton Bay for daylight and flood tide, and watched the fireworks ashore which were plainly visible. Folks at Scarborough are great. Also, the folks at Bundaberg Port Marina were also great, and I would definitely recommend Bundy as a good place to check in to Australia.

The end of a great adventure is a nostalgic time, but also a hopeful one. So many great memories and friends met. But, also the promise of new adventures ahead.

After 11 1/2 years of voyaging in S/V DESTARTE’, my 1981 BCC-28, I’ve decided to put her up for sale in Brisbane, Australia. I bought her in 2005 at Shillshole Marina in Seattle, Washington, after retiring from the Navy. My plan was to have a 2 year sabbatical and sail to Mexico. That sabbatical has turned into a “baker’s decade” and a crossing of the Pacific, voyaging through many of the islands of Polynesia.

The first cruise was through the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands. Then, out the Strait of Juan de Fuca and down the wild, not-so-pacific coast of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California–during the Autumn. She weathered two, clear air gales, as I learned how well she heaves-to. A Winter’s cruise through mid and southern Cali ended at San Diego, home of my club.

The Baja HaHa in 2006 was the trigger to go to the Sea of Cortez for a year, and then cruise the Mexican Riviera for another year. Perhaps the two happiest years of my life. It’s hard to beat the warm, calm weather, friendly Mexican locals, and collegial cruising characters in Pacific Mexico.

After returning to work for a year and a half, the Sirens called me back to follow in the wakes of Cook, Bligh, Moitessier and Robin Lee Graham, and voyage through the South Pacific. 2010 was the crossing year to Marquesas, Rangiroa, Tahiti, Moorea and the Isle Sous le Vent.

The next leg, in 2013, was Bora Bora to Fiji by way of Suwarrow in the Cooks, American Samoa, and Tonga.

This past year, 2016, the journey was completed through Vanuatu and New Caledonia to Bundaberg, Australia, and then down through the Great Sandy Strait to Scarborough Marina in the Brisbane area.

I’ve done some of it single handed, and some with a crew, generally one other person: 7 were women and 6 men. In between passages, I would return to work in the US. But always, the call of the sea has been in my ears.

The boat performed very well. You all know her seakeeping qualities and her legendary ability to heave to well. Her beauty was part of the voyage, because people just come up to you when you sail a lovely boat and want to know who is the owner of such a vessel. This starts many friendships. With a BCC, the boat essentially becomes your calling card.

Although I plan to move on to a somewhat larger boat in the future, I’ll always cherish the time I’ve had living out my boyhood dream on this beautiful vessel. Thanks, Mr. Hess!