The Sea Comber

Sea Comber

Built: 1964, by Cheoy Lee, Hong Kong

Owner: Tillian Clegg

Home port: Jervis Bay, Australia




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In early April (2009), we finally heard from Tillian Clegg, the new owner of Sea Comber, and he sent us some great photos taken on his voyage toward Sea Comber's new home port at Jervis Bay, south of Sydney, Australia. He's got a very attractive crew, including his lovely daughter and we notice the Sea Comber has become a green eyed beauty. Tillian has written:

Well I finally managed to acquire the sturdy little vessel and my daughter and I (with occasional crew) are sailing her down to our home port, Jervis Bay, south of Sydney. The previous owners used her as a motor boat for nine years, so we shook the considerable dust out of her sails and have brought her back to life!

Blown in on the breath of cyclone Hamish (a cat 5 storm) last month we rest now at Port Bundaberg, before continuing southwards through the Great Sandy Straits. Our shake down has been instructive (to say the least)... she is a delight to sail and seems to relish being on the open sea again! I feel she is a boat that can handle anything and can take us anywhere safely...

(Continued below the photos)

Sea Comber Photos
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Great way to do the bottomscomber_stormfront.jpg (316376 bytes)
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Cyclone Hamish
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Before Tillian

Hamish! I didn't realize what a massive storm that was until I saw the satellite photos when we got into port! A picture of the perfect storm! (see above) We were very fortunate, perhaps charmed, as the cyclone was predicted to cross the coast more or less where we were, and all the local yachts had dived into the cyclone holes at "The Narrows" 30 miles away, tied to proven mangrove roots. Not that they would have helped much in 240kmh winds!

We spent a week in dubious shelter, perfectly isolated, toying with the whims of Providence and experimenting with anchors and rode in often gale force wind and raging storm current, not worried much about other boats dragging onto us.

Thankfully the eye Hamish kept a hundred miles offshore, tracked southwards into cooler waters where the top sheared off and the bottom turned back, as if on the prowl, as a tropical storm. The seas outside were huge, and some trawler fishermen tragically perished. SeaComber was anchored as well as tied to shore, behind some sand bars and rocky reefs. The spring tides poured in and out, sometimes stretching the rodes iron tight in eight knots of current, sometimes leaving us up on the bar in spite of our best efforts to stay in the channel. We were always happy and relieved when resting on the beach and Sea Comber didn't mind at all.

We learned a lot about anchoring during that precarious week of "anchor watches" and are very keen to tap into the experience of other Sea Witch owners to learn how they approach the challenges of leading chain and snubbers around bobstays and whisker-stays in frisky conditions.

When the skies cleared we sailed out, happy to be free, into the relentless SE trades again, tacking all the way down, and the leftover swell helped us to reach Bundaberg where we are now tied to the river wharf at Midtown Marina, licking our wounds, which thanks to the strength and fortitude of our little ship are not many.

I'll keep you posted on our journey...  but believe me, those amazing girls could pretty well manage by themselves!

Best wishes and may fortune bless your sealorn quests



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