23rd Oct 2017
G’day readers,
This last period has seen us progress from the western end of Grand Passage through to 20nm east of the Chesterfield Reef. During that time the wind has continued to ease and vary in direction and we have had a number of sail changes in an effort to max out the power from the sails. The wind has come from the NW, W and SE so we have gone from poling out the staysail to reaching and close hauled with some motor helping us along.
Right now it is 4.20am and Ray and I have been sharing a pretty special experience – the sea is glassy, there is no moon and some stars are showing up and are reflecting off the water. Add to that a large presence of phosphorescence and you see the wash lightup brightly – AMAZING!
Yesterday afternoon the wind dropped enough for us to cut the motor, drop the sail and stop for a swim. Ray has been commenting on how blue the water is out here, and to dive around in it only reinforced that. It is SO blue. We were swimming in about 1500m of water and to look down into what appears a never-ending blue with goggles is pretty special.

A couple of other things to note:
– On the night of the 21st Cam saw the lights of two ships, interestingly they were from different places but were both 351m long.
– Porridge with banana, sultanas and peach with honey tastes pretty good.
– Gwylim (the singing chef) continues to deliver with an onion gravy bangers and mash enjoyed by all last night.
– We had an ‘all hands’ knot tying session on deck yesterday, practicing bowlines, clove hitches, rolling hitch and a variety of other knots. Cam showed us how he can tie a bowline loop with a flick of the wrist and a crack of the rope – THAT’S WHY HE IS THE SKIPPER!
– We are learning more of the navigation system which is a fancy RAYMARINE chart plotter and it is interesting to note that currents can play an important part in your progress against a course. Last night we changed sails in the dark during a wind change and I must say I couldn’t pick the direction without the compass and chart plotter.
– The auto helm continues to steer us along without complaining.
When the sun rises soon we will be close to arriving at Chesterfield Reef – hanging out to see the place. We are seeing increasing numbers of birds as we approach.
All the best,