The final leg
08 October 2021 | 23 23.005'S:166 09.112'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
23 23.005 S
166 09.112 E
Weather; overcast, wind 5 -18 knots, waves 1- 2 meters
We finally settled into a sort of pattern that we could live with. The wind had clocked around and was now sitting around the beam, sometimes just ahead of it and sometimes just aft of it, but close enough that we could sail it, we still couldn't get much more than 5.5 knots of speed though but I guess given the actual wind speed was around 8 knots we weren't doing so badly. The swell died away and made it a more comfortable ride for most of the day. We managed to catch a few naps during the day and read our books between mopping up the carnage from the water coming through the Dorade and into the forward cabin. We hadn't realised yesterday that every towel in the forward bathroom had gotten wet so we had a bit of a Chinese laundry thing happening in the cockpit today to try and dry out as much as possible so that things didn't mould and stink the place out. As we are still not making potable water (the new brushes on the water maker are still being run in and the water we pr
oduce isn't far enough below acceptable level to put into the tank) we were reluctant to "waste" water on rinsing out these towels, they will just need a good laundering once we reach Brisbane. Our freezer is beginning to look a little empty, I did a quick calculation of how many meals we still have prepared and am quite happy to know that we have enough to see us all the way into Brisbane with possibly one meal left over. I am trying my hardest to orchestrate it so that we have next to nothing left for the bio security people to confiscate on our arrival but I'm sure there will be something that they take away which will annoy me, much like the 2 canned hams that got taken off of us in Fiji Ð I still can't get my head around what sort of bio hazard processed canned ham can possibly have, if anyone knows please enlighten me! We had quite a bit of discussion as to whether or not we should change course slightly and take the passage that goes through New Caledonia as the wind
at the time was pushing us more towards that way than our current course which would take us around the end of the island, in the end we managed to skim around the end as the wind had come around enough for us to get back on course.
The sun set was again a non- event with clouds sitting at the horizon as the sun disappeared from the sky. The stars came out but were soon engulfed in a cloak of grey clouds. We had the motor on and off depending on how much wind was blowing at any particular moment, in total we ran the engine for 11 hours which was an improvement on the previous days. It was my turn to have a sleep and I had been just out of it, in a dead sleep, when Gerry called me back up into the cockpit, I tried not to be grumpy but it was hard plus the temperature was dropping much like it had last night leaving me shivering on top of the grumpiness. I only mention the grumpiness as Gerry never gets grumpy when I call him up from his sleep, mind you he is probably just grateful that I'm not destroying his boat at the time, plus he can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, anywhere, anytime, so he goes back to bed without any issue. The reason for the recall was that the wind had begun to veer to the stern
and we hadn't got the preventer out on the main so it was beginning to slap and crash with the changing direction. Gerry went out on deck to attach the preventer and I manned the lines from the cockpit, we soon had it in place and I was sent back to bed, could I get back to sleep? Not a chance, I had to make up for it next turn around. I was thankful that Gerry was feeling too lazy to go out on deck in the pitch black of night and try to put the spinnaker pole back up Ð a short lived reprieve. Yet again we both felt frozen to death during the course of the night and could be found wearing our hoodies in an effort to keep warm, it didn't work too well and certainly didn't stop my feet from being like ice blocks.
Dawn arrived and with it the sun which took it's time to heat up the interior of the cockpit. We needed a cooked breakfast to warm us up so it was a good job that the swell was down to negligible and we were riding along quite smoothly. Unfortunately Gerry has a habit of wanting to "do stuff" straight after finishing eating, with no time to digest our breakfast he was getting prepared to put the spinnaker pole out, a job I have come to hate as we always end up niggling and giving sharp retorts to each other during the process. The winching leaves me with aching arms, an aggravated tennis elbow (note to self - must stop playing tennis) and due to the just finished breakfast, terrible indigestion. Apart from feeling a bit hot and bothered it doesn't seem to effect Gerry. Anyway the pole is up and we now have the Yankee poled out on it with the main on the opposing side so we are goose winging for now. I've no doubt that at some stage we will be changing the pole over to the o
ther side and gybing as the wind works its way around to the other side of the stern, something to look forward to Ð not! For the moment though we are comfortably doing 6 knots, the engine is silent, the swell is of no great concern, the sun is shining, we can see no other signs of life on or in the water, we have just one more way point to reach and that is Brisbane! We managed to cover a massive 143 NM in the 24 hours which was a bit of a surprise considering how the wind messed about but we'll take it anyway. We have around 750 NM to go until we are at the marina so we are about half way there as of now but there is nothing between here and Brisbane so it will be a boring but hopefully a quick and uneventful last run.