Friday 21 August 2009 (22 deg 50 min S, 167 deg 38 min E)

After a healthy concoction prepare by “Ocean-chef Tony” and a good night’s sleep at anchor, we’re underway again. It helps that the wind is now closer to 15 knots, rather than more than twice that and the seas are much reduced.

Many thanks to Ugo Bay and the Isle of Pines for their sanctuary.

However, we are getting a lesson in tidal flows at the moment, with one of our speedometers (the one that has a small thru-hull propeller) is reading a speed of over 5 knots and the GPS speedometer is reading close to 2 knots, suggesting we are battling a 3 knot current; something we anticipated because the tide is currently on the ebb and it moves from West to East when it does that, and we are sailing from East to West; right into it. It’s not something that is a big problem out in the ocean, but close to land the effect is magnified.

And yes, we are still close to land, (passing painfully slow out the right hand windows) although we have been able to lay a course roughly south west, in the current breeze, which should see us hitting either north head, or south head at Port Jackson in the fullness of time – all things being equal of course.

We continue to download weather maps to see what is heading our way, but at the moment we have all sails up, plus the “Perkins Topsail” and I’m informed our speed has climbed from 2 knots to 5.5 knots. The hope is to turn the engine off ASAP, but we just want to be sure of rounding the southern tip of New Caledonia as swiftly as possible.

Not a lot else to report. As slow as our current (excuse the pun) progress is, we feel good about finally laying a course for Australia and home!!

Smooth seas, fair breeze and Australia here we come.

Rob