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Cruising on Destiny
Hove To
John and Shauna
22Jul2008, Coral Sea

Just an update to let everyone relax.... the promised foul conditions have eventuated so we are hove to, slowly skating across the wind at 1.5 knots. We were a tad uncomfortable and felt the best option was to sit pat and allow it to pass. This will mean a delay of a couple of days in landfall - oh well! We're reasonably comfortable, certainly moreso than when we were making way in it. All aboard well, cheerful but a bit weary. We'll send another entry in a day or so. Cheers, Us

22Jul2008 | Sally
Thank you. I had checked earlier and decided you didn't need another blimp! ! from me. Our "Holy " weather has also changed but no comparison to yours.. I hope you get a little relaxing few moments in this time.
23Jul2008 | sally
I want to know who was driving the boat while you two were on the phone? I suppose it was that American again--the one who answers the phones. That guy is very busy. ! !Interesting , --James' comment---'destiny' is in all our hands. Big love big hug to 2.
25Jul2008 | Ellen
Waves breaking over Muttonbird Island here earlier in the week, we were wondering when you would head home, hope you get better weather on your way then we are getting at the moment, looking forward to catching up with you soon!!
We're still here!
John and Shauna
20Jul2008, Coral Sea North of Chesterfield/Bampton Reefs

Right now it's 10:30 EST (we've put our clocks back onto EST - a bit of "power of positive thinking") - and we are skating along the North edge of Recif Bampton, about 6 miles off, which we reckon to be a safe clearance during daylight hours (at night we would have at least 10 miles buffer). It's a hot morning and very humid, but we have sailing conditions that are quite acceptable, with 15 - 18 knots ESE and a regular 1.5m swell which the autopilot is handling without raising a sweat. We are doing a steady 5.5 - 6.0 knots which is great given that we have only a reefed main and the staysail flying. Unless we are absolutely floundering in no wind, it is our habit to have a reef in overnight; this morning we have made such good speed without more sail that we decided to leave things as they are. It pays to be kind to the rig and gear! The last Buoyweather we had showed a bit of rough stuff off Bundaberg about the time we will be in the vicinity, but we'll see how that pans out. It has been quiet enough to read all day, or at least between maintenance, charging batteries, sail changes, weather faxes and e-mails, and the other routine tasks. Our main job this week is to eat all the alien meat and vegetables we have on board from various ports of call prior to landfall, to deny them to the Customs and Quarantine Officers Friday night barbecue. We are doing our best, but appetites tend to be miniscule at sea in a small vessel, so we may well have to give the sharks off East Coast Queensland a few frozen treats before we head in. Interestingly we are now able to quite reasonably pick up ABC Local Radio from Sydney again - first time since May in Noumea. Cheers from us!

21Jul2008 | sally
Well all sounds good and the ABC as well. Good for you. I will keep singing my song "row row row your boat, gently down the stream. !
22Jul2008 | James
I came across your blog a few weeks ago and havebeen intrigued. Is this the same Destiny, of the RSYS, in which Theo Taylor used to take young tearaways to Hobart? I sailed on her from Hobart to Perth in '87, and thought her a fabulous cruising boat. I've been following your blog with envy, now land based, I sailed my old boat from Oz to the UK 10 years ago.
Eating the Evidence
John and Shauna
18Jul2008, Coral Sea North of D'Entrecasteaux Reef

It's Saturday afternoon - normally at home we'd be going for a sail. Ironic. We are now just entering the third twenty four hour period at sea since leaving Port Vila. The sailing has so far been better than we've had for any consistent time over the last few months. The wind is ESE at about 12 - 15 knots and the swell is lowish, making it about as comfortable as it's possible to be crossing an ocean. We are already missing Vanuatu and all the lovely people we became friends with - locals and yachties. The night before departure we were invited for a meal at "L'Houstelet", a French Restaurant in Vila, by Aloi Pilioko and Nicholai Michoutoushkin, the artists - they took a shine to us for some reason and we had a superb meal and great company; they know just about everyone in Port Vila, and most of them dropped by to pay their respects (including the French Ambassador who looked about 14!). We are also going to miss the lovely people of Tanna who were so hospitable to us in their terrible poverty - such a contrast to the capital Port Vila. Our intended course takes us North of D'Entrecasteaux Reef (we'll be passing it tonight), then slightly South-west to sail North of the Bampton/Chesterfield Reefs then beeline for sunny Queensland, getting as far South as we can. We are hoping this will be a journey of about eight days, but the weather will decide. We'll be in touch again in a couple of days.

19Jul2008 | Sally
Where did you get ordinary sounding names like Bampton/Chest.? Delighted to hear smooth is the in word. Well? ? Just saying Good Morning and enjoy your soup.

Australia Bound
John and Shauna
16Jul2008, Port Vila Harbour

After three weeks of strong winds and very rough seas, things are improving and so we are seizing the opportunity. Buoyweather forecasts ESE - SE winds of 15 - 20 knots for at least four days, with much lower seas than the 3.5 - 4 metres that have prevailed recently.
So, reluctantly in some ways but with a keen sense that one must go when the weather is right, we are off today. We filled the diesel and water tanks this morning (putting the diesel in the diesel tank, of course) and will be off later this morning (Thursday). The journey duration is uncertain, but is likely to be 8 to 10 days, although it's hard to predict exactly. We will be making landfall as far south as possible - Coffs would be nice but highly unlikely, Brisbane is possible if the wind direction is OK, and Bundaberg is the fallback - we'll know more in four or five days.
We'll put up some updates as we progress - we'll see you all soon!

16Jul2008 | sally
You can't come back yet, you have'nt been to Paris ! ! Milan or across the Nullibar.! !
Will be looking forward to your next communication. Safe travelling.
16Jul2008 | Una Cooney
Hi Shauna & John
Mum just sent your details and looks and sounds like you have had a wonderful time. Boat looks great. Enjoy the rest of your trip and when can we meet you in Cape Town Harbour? Bye for now and warm regards. Una & Patrick
18Jul2008 | Sarah

Cant wait to see you :D
20Jul2008 | John Maddox
Dear John and Shauna, I have just reread you complete blog and am really pleased that you have had a great time and all went well --thanks to your great preparation. I saw Richard Armati 2 weeks ago. He sends his regards an sis off to Croatia for 3 weeks charter on a Beneteau with 3 friends. I am investigating the best mechanic to replace /overhaul OCC member David Fosh's Volvo when he arrives from Fiji later this year [Reflections of Hayling][UK] Have a good passage across the Pond. Kind regards John Maddox
Waiting for weather (what else?)
John and Shauna
13Jul2008, Port Vila

The trade winds are what the meteorology guys call "reinforced" this year. This means that they are honking like hell and seldom drop below 25 - 30 knots with 3.5 - 4.5 metre swells. We don't like to strain either ourselves or "Destiny" too much, so will just hunker down here until the next lull - this could be as late as Thursday this week, if the Grib files are to be believed that far ahead (they have been very accurate for us so far).
The harbour has been very overcrowded by the arrival of the 30 boats in the ARC World Rally. The conquering heroes kicked us mortals off the seawall into the Iririki anchorage, monopolised the fuel dock and temporarily raised the cost of goods and services ashore. What, me bitter about them?
Sunday we visited the home of Aloi Pilioko, a well-known Melanesian artist who is a very flamboyant and cheerful character. He is also very savvy and has a retail outlet and is a little like a local Ken Done - bright, vibrant work which is Melanesian-based but very accessible to know-nothings like us. We have put some photos in the Gallery - worth a look.
Today we are off to do some more exploring in the hills, and are having a meal with Margaret and Andrew on "Mollycoddle" as they are heading North about the same time we go West to Oz.

14Jul2008 | sally
Great photo's and glad to hear you are waiting for GODO to change the weather. John I thought I always told you NOT to climb.! ! Nymph indeed, I now have 2 dresses for you-- instead of that original ONE ! !

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Destiny's Crew
Who: John and Shauna
Port: Sydney, Australia
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Sunshine on blue water, twelve knots on the beam.... The trades are blowing gently and we're sailing like a dream..... Sipping from the cup of life and getting mostly cream....

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