Monday, July 25, 2011

Thar she, Thar she, Thar she…

Finally escaped from Coff's Harbour and had a glorious 24 hours. We always seem to have a dolphin escort before big adventures, and a pair visited us in the marina, popping up between boats, and said goodbye to us at the harbour entrance. Still a reasonable swell from the big winds, but a smooth sea and heaps of whales. So many we stopped counting! They are all heading north, we are heading south. The East Australian Current helped us along, just like in Finding Nemo, we were up to 7kn in the night, with just one sail and not much wind. A night of lights. Lights of towns, a bit different from the empty oceans. Lights of ships, there are many many ships, one even radioed us to see if we were planning to stay in front of him. Great shooting stars, great stars actually. Very bright lightening on the horizon. Dolphins running alongside, lighting up with phosphorescence.
Morning brought a nice little tuna, first Australian fish, but also a forecast of more southerly wind. The wind has already started to turn and stopped our move south, so we're motoring into Forster/Tuncurry to anchor for a night or two. Forecast is good once this SW bit is over.
Sam did some great work on the wind vane steering and it's even better than before. He also scaled the mast repeatedly till we finally got the wind speed/direction instrument working. On the down side, the little tiller pilot, known in the family as 'Nav-boy' has died, too much water in his motor. He steered the boat for months and months, we'll miss him.

Here is Sam posing before the waves that kept us in Coff's Harbour, then Ellida, illegally parked in Tuncurry, followed by some close up whale time.

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