S/V Bluebottle

Sydney to Eden, Dawn At Sea

30 December 2010
THE GOOD SHIP BLUEBOTTLE* HAS JUST NOW PUSHED THROUGH A FLEET OF BLUEBOTTLES! For those who have never met these fine sailors but nasty stingers, they are a floating creature - with a blue transparent bladder or sail about 3 centimetres long by 2 centimetres high pus long (half metre), trailing filaments which can sting painfully. A child's encounter with one of these is unforgettable!

Link: See Bluebottles and Pacific Man-O-War

We left Sydney as the last of the sunset coloured the sky, slipping by South Head only a quarter of a mile away. As night came on we motored offshore, a few ships visible. There is some excitement aboard, with Nick, our new crewman, Bluebottle setting out to grab a brief weather window - light to strong northerlies.

Adrienne made us a "Pratie" - a pressure-cooked potato, split and buttered, with a topping of ham and tomato with grated cheese on top. This is a fine dinner, at sea, and fine for me anytime. Nick took the first watch, Adrienne next at 0200, and now me, doing the dawn watch, from 0500.

A southerly change is expected on the south coast tomorrow afternoon. We have to get to Eden before it arrives. If not, we'll make slow progress, and it will not be pleasant, so I may make for Bateman's Bay, depending on how early the change hits.

The dawn is beautiful, but brief, the sun climbing into the gray cloud, silvering the ocean. A scatter of black coloured birds glide very low over their reflections. Still motoring, not enough wind to set a sail on. Yet.

* By the way, Bluebottle is named after a comic character in Spike Milligan's The Goon Show (click here)
Vessel Name: BLUEBOTTLE (ex-Aura)
Vessel Make/Model: Lidgard 49' steel ketch
Hailing Port: Hobart
Crew: Adrienne Godsmark and Joe Blake
We have completed our trans-Pacific voyage - from Panama to Hobart via Ecuador, Mexico, French Polynesia, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu and Bundaberg, and are now pausing before resuming land life. [...]
When the port authorities here were approached to renew our Panamanian boat registration, they said "You can't call your boat Aura - that's taken" so we decided to call her Bluebottle! If you know the Goons, you know of Bluebottle, that little twit! He was always getting into trouble with his thin [...]
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Who: Adrienne Godsmark and Joe Blake
Port: Hobart