Monday, January 3. Successful crew change: this morning, about 6 o'clock, Nick went ashore to climb on a bus to Sydney, and Endra came aboard, after a flight to Melbourne and a bus ride to Eden. She had a little adventure: arriving at 2:45 am, and having been given the wrong address, she could not find the Great Southern Hotel, and the man who was to let her in and help her find the place wouldn't answer his phone. Oh, no - stranded in a strange town in the dead of night and nowhere to sleep! So she called us, and we looked it up on Google maps. And the side door was open. Phew!! Talk about drama!
Not Sermon On The Mount - on the blog, folks, on the blog. Big difference. But I am in the gardens of Eden.
The second 70 years kicks in!!
My new year's resolution is the same as my vision for the other side of seventy - to smile, laugh, and be happy, to take no offense at personal slights, to see all the petty fussing over one's likes and dislikes as a thing of the past - let it lie there in the first seventy years, enough is enough. To see only the good and loving side of each person I meet, and let gratitude be the mood and swing of each day. To simply enjoy life!
Help me keep it!
As my friend and mentor, Spike Milligan, that well-known typist's error (his own words) said: He was touching seventy, but didn't appear to be speeding.
Happy Birthday, too, to Claire, my stepdaughter, born this day.
And a Happy New Start to 2011 to all our friends out there!
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Pic: Me attempting to get a tune out of 2 baguettes in Tahiti - fabled earthly paradise. The beard and the bread sticks are gone now.
We made it! Joy, relief, and a real rest! Arrived in Twofold Bay about 2 pm, after an exhilarating beat into a 20 - 25 knot southerly.
When the north wind died, we stopped sailing, the boat turned right around to face north, and started going backwards. That's when I spotted the seals, there were 3 of them sporting around, having fun. Then the south wind came on. In the middle of breakfast.
The engine was started, but soon after became overheated, so it was shut down. I still don't know the air gets in the line, but once I "burped the baby" (as Adrienne calls it) again, and allowed it to cool, it worked just fine.
We saw some dolphins as we motor-sailed towards the anchorage. Then, getting the anchor ready, I came across a bluebottle, washed up on deck at the bow. I photographed him, and was intrigued to see what looks like markings on a ruler, along the top edge of the sac. All that's missing are the numbers!
It's exhausting, ocean sailing, watchkeeping - just hanging on - so with the anchor down after 2 days and nights and after some lunch with a bit of tomorrow's birthday shiraz, I was ready for a good long sleep.
Pic: Our very own bluebottle. I can imagine 1/4", 1/8", 1/16", 1/32" markings on a ruler. This one is 1 1/2" long, by its own measure.
12:30 pm EDT - the south winds have come, and strong. 25 - 30 knots. But coming over us at 60 - 70 degrees off the port bow, we can use sail, and increase our speed, giving us a chance of getting in out of this blow sooner. So we have a part of the genny out - engine running - and doing over 6 knots, heeled over, in the sunshine - and 1 hour to go.
Another report - as it is happening. 1742 GMT, 4:42 am, Saturday 1st January, 2011 --- Happy New Year!! - Still at sea, but only 45 sea miles to go now, to Eden.
Currently blowing 20 - 25, was 25 - 30 knots, from the north. Copped the slop of a big wave (maybe it wasn't big, just friendly) right into the cockpit. Most of the genoa rolled up, but I am letting more and more of it out - to increase speed.
Been sailing hard for 12 hours now, engine off. Seas 2.5 metres, they come up really close behind, and peer over the stern rail, say "BOO!" before moving under us.
Sun just offstage.
A brief progress report: 101.7 nautical miles to go, to the waypoint off Eden, and from there, heading inshore, another 10.
Doing around 7 knots, wind slowly strengthening. Wind now 18 - 20 knots from the NNE, and more is promised by the weatherman.
We are passing Ulladulla, and sailing along very nicely. As I said, a southerly change is predicted tomorrow, and we hope to be in the gardens of Eden by the time it hits.
Nick has to leave us there, because he has 2 cats back home. He has enjoyed himself! He has been a tremendous help to us in Sydney, hauling us around shopping, cooking meals, helping on board. keeping our dinghy on the back of his truck, because we could not leave it on the beach.
Endra will arrive in Eden in the wee hours of January 3rd, the day after my birthday. A special birthday. The biblical span of threescore years and ten - from now on, it is pure gift.