Sunday 20 October 2013

Off Newcastle,, NSW

After 20 hours of faithful service Perkins was finally turned off mid morning upon the arrival of the much-promised northerly wind.

Starting as a mild breeze it soon climbed to around 15-20 knots with sails trimmed and in the case of the jib, hoisted.  The seas began to build from the stern and pretty soon we were doing 7-8 knts; the noise of the motor giving way to the rush of the wind and the parting waves.

wind-from-behind-at-last

Around lunchtime we spied some whales inshore of us and for about 15 minutes they occasionally lept from the sea showing their white tummies as they landed on their black backs with a big splash.  Dolphins joined us briefly for a time too, but they were gone as soon as they’d arrived, obviously having something more interesting to do than muck about with us.

The coal loading dock at Newcastle certainly acts as a magnet for ships and so far today we must have seen 10 or more travelling up and down the coast.  Our ship-spotting AIS alarm was worrking overtime there for a while.

We’ve each taken it in turns to sleep during the day, catching up on time lost to our bunks through last night’s watches.  At the moment Sally is working hard in the galley, made remarkably stable owing to having the wind from the stern and seas reasonably calm, Bob is up in the cockpit keeping an eye on the autohelm, David is dressing for dinner I believe and I’m at the saloon table typing – and needing to tidy the table for dinner.

bob-prepares-to-go-off-watch-with-the-setting-moon

A smoky haze can be seen onshore – evidence of the continuing fires down the coast and at last calculation we expect to be in Sydney around 6:00am tomorrow moring.  The wind is expected to continue blowing from the north for a couple of days yet, so we’ll be out and heading south again just as soon as the crew changeover is complete.

Smooth seas, fair breeze and wind from the north at last
Rob Latimer

www.msm.org.au