Thursday 27 August 7:31 PM (31 S 33   154 E 30)

[admin note: see also Don and Meg Macraild’s letter on Lerica’s heart operation]

With two sleeps to go before we enter Sydney Harbour the excitement is definitely starting to build aboard Chimere.

Terrence braved a shower on deck this afternoon to officially become the cleanest man aboard.  He commented that all this sea air is good growing conditions for his beard, which is quite a bit bushier now than when he shipped aboard nearly two months ago.

I’ve heard on the grapevine that it’s been a bit breezy down south.  Well unfortunately the lack of wind continues to plague our journey and to make things worse we had a rather strong current going against us for a few hours today which managed to slow things event more.  But we live in hope that our much anticipated northerly will arrive soon.

With the severe lack of action on board, it was suggested that tonight’s Ships Log should contain a few “Tall Tales & True” from the imaginary present – such as the pod of nine whales that breached and frolicked off the bow all afternoon, or the 120kg marlin we manhandled aboard after a 45 minute struggle, or the submarine that surfaced alongside us and … but I thought it better to confine things, as best I can, to the truth.

The fact is, we saw one shark fin, very briefly this afternoon, a pair of really big albatross which were doing the best they could to stay aloft given the lack of wind, lots of small black albatross, no ships, and still no fish on our lure – we think the birds might have scared them off.

Justin has again taken on the mantle of this evening’s celebrity chef, whipping up what he calls tuna and potato rissoles with onion, chili, oregano and  no doubt some secret herbs and spices.  Added to this was the last of our lettuce and cucumber from the Port Vila market – very delicious I might say.  Although “chef notes” for those following in Justin’s footsteps are that Deb lacks the binding power of fresh potatoes.  (I think Deb makes up for it afterwards though)

All seems in order with Customs, Immigration and Quarantine upon our arrival.  We are to proceed to the Customs wharf in Neutral Bay upon arrival, after first phoning their 24 hour phone number to provide an ETA.  At this stage we are hoping for Saturday – sometime.

At the moment we are about 90 miles from the NSW coast and about 230 miles from Sydney Harbour.

Got to go, there’s a whiff of a northerly in the air and there’s a chance we may be hoisting the jib!

Smooth sea, fair breeze and excitement’s mounting with 2 sleeps to go

Rob