True facts are summarised below because I was the owner/sailor of 22' Careel 'all that jazz'
• organised and prepaid truck driver cancelled following confirmation and the purchasing my paid for with honest cash vessel. 'I offered him more and he just said he'll have to refund me, which he did.
•being Boxing Day of 2014 27 phone calls to alternative transport companies had zero success no matter how much I offered someone no one I rang would accept the job.
•with 3weeks only remaining on more and being that I lived in 'The greater city of Dandenong' Melbournes capital city of Victoria and now Hastings 1street off a marina 'consolation blessing' i couldn't arrange a gentlemens agreement on keeping it on more because living in melbourne and having a yacht interstate isn't very sensible.
•I wasnt even intending to sail it, I had always planned on having her transported to Mordialloc at the time of organised and paid agreement being that he was an owner driver he can cancel on a job anytime if he wishes I didn't have a less than 48hour left no cancellation must complete job contract which I've learnt from.
•I rang my brother as I grew up in Upwey with my parents Susan and Brian Smith and he went to high school in the same year as Jessie Martin, they were friends, so I asked my brother for his phone number, my phone dropped out before I could take down his number and my spare phone battery pod was empty too.
•I met some people close to the yacht club but they were the wrong sort wanting the party on my vessel with drugs so I told them all to leave if they weren't serious crew, they all left because the drugs were more important than helping a stranger achieve the completion of his dream they fained interest in sailing it back with me and accepting flights back once successful completed the voyage back the melbourne it was a blessing in a way they didn't come no public liability and vessel isn't in my name yet let alone insured I have the bill of sail papers and my signature on purchase etc
•I wasn't back at work until Jan 19th and thought surely I could make it slowly and sensibly by then taking into accounts the survey of the vessel was an excellent one interior cupboards were listed as the only negatives.
•I checked all the lines tie chained to the mor bouy location at Drummoyne Sydney, I checked all riggings spare main sail and spare main sails were all there and in good condition, the already fitted main sail and jib all ran fine and I had the ropes, knots and pilot systems how I wanted them setup.
•I knew that I better get some petrol for whatever weak assistance a tiny 6HP motor is going to give a 22'foot sail yacht but had faith that it's exactly that use the power of natures element 'air the wind' but still carried on board 10x10litre plastic fuel containers no way was I going to do any cooking even afraid to light the interior kerosene lamp with my early days heavy fuel load I decided to be resourceful I also didn't want to be too heavy in the water with all the fuel so I got rid of things of no use or interest.
• I put on the wetsuit that was in the yacht when I bought it over the top of my overalls, the charts were in the vessel and looked in good condition and not too sure so you used them to ploy my course and work out nautical mile distances between each port I plotted the ports to Wollongong and decided I would reassess there anchored somewhere.
•so I said my prayers for all to go well before I took off and even waited until I had 6 days of excellent weather forecast with the storms well north into northern NSW and Queensland.
•so I set saile on the 27th of December 2014, I decided I was going to sail towards the heads and once I arrive to the safest and closest jetty or calm anchor location I was going to assess whether to sail out of the heads that day or wait until the 28th I arrived at the heads at about 2pm as I was getting used to my new purchase and how to sail as I'll admit my only experience was theory what I'd read in books and my boat and recreational craft licenses, I first before arriving at the heads sailed under the Sydney harbour bridge had the Sydney opera house on my right hand side slowed down to confirm direction to the heads I was told along the edge of the Sydney opera house so lost time going into and out of another docking port but realised where I was on my map and could understand the landscape to the map and knew where I had to sail to.
•I arrive at the heads at about 2pm and decide yes although a little less calm then the calm port waters things were still very calm so I decided to at least make Cronulla first jettied port from Sydney skipping all the backward beaches that back on to the water side of mountains/cliffs and heading for the next mountain straight away etc I have respect to the rocks to the ocean I sailed right dead centre out the heads, faced my vessel diagonal facing the bow of my yacht towards Cronulla but facing into the ocean more than the rocks I didn't want to drift too close to the rocks I was suddenly in the unknown of the Middle of the Ocean with a fairly comfortably happy with the amount of Ocean I had between me and the cliffs/rocks yet anxious and nervous and 100% alert with what I'm doing as I've never done anything quite like this before I'm definitely not going or retiring into the hull/cabin yet I have work to do.
•I successfully make Cronulla with no issues other than my first genuine sea sickness feeling of which oddly enough I didn't feel anxious about because there was noone there to pick on or bully me into feeling/being a weak person, it's was just me and my guts, without being too graphic I vomited over the side making sure I hold on This is my vessel and I will not go overboard, I had a steady heave and got rid of whatever was making me feel without reading into it too much it would have just been the new unsure yet the most enjoyable thing I've ever experienced and out in the not too bad swell etc.
•I successfully made Cronula and pulled up at the jetty didnt think I needed to anchor unless I was staying here, the reception I received wasn't very pleasant though it was just local routine protocol the ferry was due back in 10minutes and you cannot stay here okay sir i said so I sailed my new vessel all that jazz that is currently sailing really well and standing up to the long distance test, I sailed it out of the way of the jetty and anchored my anchor took properly and was able to work out my amount of fuel used for distance travelled from drumoyne Sydney to Cronulla and then based on that how much fuel I would need to make the next port of Wollongong I had plenty more than my calculated required and they told me you can't anchor there mate and the petrol station is closed now anyway.
•I thought okay it was about 4pm from memory and I foolishly let the move along rudeness from someone that prove ly wasn't even in decision making power to tell me I couldn't or couldn't stay but at the time as I try so very hard to be in real life obedient to what I'm told I can and cannot do I decided well things are running/sailing smoothly from a sailing point of view so I foolishly let the move along affect me so I headed back out into the Ocean follow the coast line to aim for Wollongong by the evening.
•I let the man get inside my head instead of explaining politely Id like to peacefully anchor for just 1 night and then peacefully set sail/depart in the morning.
•I sailed towards Wollongong and it got dark yet I could still make out the landscape and my directions follow the coast without running to close to it out of fear of running aground or hitting something that would damage the vessel it's best to be out in the clear of the deep blue sea.
•I could see these two openings and then wollongong, on my map the first one was Stanwell park beach yet my charts showed a jetty, I'm still a while off though I can only see the openings and the lights in the distance, that's when my main sail decides to split horizontally entirely in half from one side of the sail to the other, I had a flapping sail and my motor at this stage wasn't being of much assistance either I decided to try to anchor it didn't feel like anchor was taking to the sea bed so I just kept floating/drifting slower again but still moving very slowly I decided I was just going to try and make the jetty at stanwell park as quickly as I could it was late it was 3am I got to the opening of stanwell park I decided I wasn't going to be foolish and sail straight the the shoreline that's a sure way of running aground so I came in hard left of the port and then turned her in horizontally at what I thought was a safe depth as I couldn't see a jetty and I waa happy where I was i reanchored and it seemed to take well enough I started to pull out the spare main sail to find out it ran on a different system the active but now split main sail used a flug runner system that runs up the mast, the spare mainsail was running a clasp pull to open and push to close non runner system and my mast is a runner mast but then I noticed the flugs attached to the split broken sail have joined metal hooks at the ends of them so I cut one off the broken sail and tried to sit the metal hook inside the clasp flug on the spare sail it worked and sealed perfectly becoming a clasp/flug runner, so I changed them all, I realise tide is dropping out what seemed to be drastically fast so I quickly ran the spare sail up the mast and she was good to go, I realise I'm too shallow for comfort now so instead of just working overtime and getting the sail open I pull up the anchor and try to face back out to sea without my personally adjusted and now changed sail up, so I wind her up and I'm hoping to get deeper and that's when my fixed non retractable keel decided I was in fact too shallow now the tied beat me and my sail change and I ran aground. Dream over no insurance organised as I was never planning on sailing it anyway until I had done all the work I had planned for it etc.
•that was all she wrote for me, Standwell park is Australia's first coal mine and hasn't had a jetty in 80years my charts must have been some old charts.
•the police officer after I explained my predicament said Damien I can see your a man with grand vision/dream you just had a transport and logistical cancellation and no plan B or alternative which pushed you towards doing this as long as have this yacht off the beach in two days you and I don't have a problem he shook my hand and said these words I will remember for the rest of my days 'I admire your effort captain smith'
•I was considered in the high tide mark so NSW coast guard should have helped me for free they chose not to and NSW road and maritime services stepped in to clean up mess.
•they bobcat and crane towed my yacht up and to the edge of the beach they disassembled the mast and put her on a flatbedded truck on her side and I rode with the truck driver whom wasn't owner driver if he was I would have got him to drive it home for me and I offered the money but it was a company truck so he couldn't accept.
•the truck, driver, my yacht and I drove further south which was nice to get the vessel further south only it was all that jazz final resting place as they were asking for a $6,000+ salvage fee which they told me I only have to pay if I want my vessel out of the junk yard on 1foreshore road port Kembla.
•I left out a bit I met a welcoming and generous family couple and their son I may as well protect their privacy by not using their names gave a lovely meal and their guest room for the night 'I don't forget the little things that make negative experiences like running my no morgage owned outright debt free earnt fair and square through honest worked money and savings home my dream was to live on it. That was however before I ran aground and I stayed with the the night before it it was salvaged.
•I worked out the cumulative total of what I'd paid for it, the cost of the salvage to what they are worth between $8,000 - $15,000 with a once off online of $22,500 still no buyer etc but still decided that I will ride it off as a holiday experience and make better planB alternatives next time.
•I didn't touch water for 9months but lived by a marina when I did touch water I strangely to anyone that saw me do it touched my Palm into the water faced the Ocean and the yachts in safe mored wer birth and saluted them, to say I respect you ocean and I respect every sailor and yachts story on how they got here etc. Because I'm not the first not to make their dream a reality and I need to just be greatful I was able to have an experience like this which is more than many others even get to have there are bigger more humanly worrying issues going on in this earth of ours that it's now over a year since it happened and I have been told Damien why don't you just get someone to ring up as an unknown to you that has walked past the junkyard seen your yacht and simply enquire for a civilian unknown to me purchase of what is in the scrap metal/junk storage yard and see if you can get it back for a few hundred dollars.
•if anyone wants to assist me regaining my vessel that I purchased out of honest earnt money fair and square then I would be greatly appreciative I dont know what more I need to do.
•I thought I was patient on my yacht buy because there were 14yachts a free years ago that I didnt buy or missed out on for whatever reason being second bidder, or time running out on aucition during work hours so not getting the final too bid in Etc ive had a vessel i was picking up bargo NSW the man wouldn't load me because I had a 19'car carrier trailer and rang him to tell him that was what I had his exact words were 'I have loaded those Before with boats so I drove interstate to pick up with correct number of rachet straps and rope length just to be told I can't load you wrong trailer and he wouldn't accept my money nor load me so I drove up empty came back empty I've had a duel hull catamaran in lake haven I tried to buy they reneged and went back on the purhase when I went to pay them oh it's not for sale anymore and they took it to the tip instead.
•I'm writing a book about dreams attempts and failures and what is a dream if it never comes true no matter what you try and how much you plan and are organised etc
•feel free to ring me on 0468440936 if you have any idea or loop hole like the enquire as a normal passer by oh ive seen this yacht in 1 foreshore road I would like to enquire about buying it out of the junkyard etc an old man told me that is one loop hole i hadn't thought of to get my mortgage free dream home back
•important facts yacht sustained some keel housing cracks damage when tying to meunvre her back into the water she took the whole hull weight and pressure on the tip of the keel which made small compacted cracks around the edge of the keep housing other then a missing wooden rudder steering arm that's all the damage she has sustained I still cannot put it to bed once and for all.
•if someone knows how to help me have it given to me out of the junk yard without paying the not required to pay if I don't want back amount and it's been so long now whenever I call know one that answer the phone even knows what im talking about because the junkyard is a non officed non cameraed no dogs alarms etc it's sn old junkyard/storage yard with a fence and a lock.
•I've definitely had the negative wrong thought of taking back what is mine as its a non manned or even officed cameraed or dogs place but I'm far to honest and a good sport so I don't do that I'm no theif even when the yacht should be still mine.
•help what can I do from here.
•oh and the only other vessel left out of the 14 although was Gippsland lakes a lot closer to melbourne it was much older 1970 bluebird, was wooden and bare interior I thought all that Jazz was the correct vessel to go for so I did and I'm still at nought renting a cabin just off a marina.
•please call me on 0468440936 if you have any advice for me other then give up that isn't in my vocabulary as depressing as it is to be renting at 31
Thank-you for reading the truth chronicles of all that Jazz not the partially not accurate and dramatised front page of the Illawarra Mercury.
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