Day 10 - NZ to Australia
06 June 2008 | 28 31 S, 160 00 E
Friday, June 6 We had the SSB unhooked for ten hours or so last night and this morning. About nine o'clock last night Steen saw lightening ahead of us. We went right underneath a thunderstorm that was eight miles wide on the radar; it seemed to follow us all night. At first we took turns being on lightening watch, to see if it might pass in front of us. It didn't, so Steen cut the SSB wire that runs under the cockpit; just a precaution in case lightening did hit us, that it didn't pass through the wiring and fry our electronic equipment. So last night wasn't very fun. We double-reefed the main and dropped the jib and still did six knots. The seas piped up, sending the occasional spray into the cockpit and it rained and lighteninged all night long. The motion and noise down below wasn't very good for sleeping, but we did get some rest. Malou, great sailor that she is, slept through everything, wedged between pillows and stuffed animals.
I had the watch between four and seven a.m. and mostly stayed down below out of the rain, just coming up every fifteen minutes to look around for lights. Seeing another boat was unlikely since we hadn't seen a one since rounding the North Cape of NZ. Even though my watch ended at seven, I let Steen and Malou sleep for awhile longer since it still looked pretty dark and gray outside. Of course, that could also be that we completely forgot to change our watches for the proper time zones, so for the last few days, the sun has been setting later and later and rising later and later until this morning it was still pretty dark at seven.
The morning stayed gray, rough, and rainy and the cockpit was soaked, so we all stayed down below, going up occasionally for fresh air. The sun didn't come out until one pm today, in time for a late lunch outside. After we passed under the northern edge of the trough, the skies were suddenly sunny and blue and the seas calmed down a little.
We got back on a more stable tack, until the wind shifted to the WNW, the direction we need to go. We are currently heading north, until the winds shift again. The winds are forecasted to be fickle for the next 24 hours. After that, we may be getting more strong winds from the SW, then the winds should go counterclockwise... SW, S, SE, E, reaching 20 to 25 knots. The boat is a little more messy after last night, and we're ready to get to port, clean up and be civilized. As usual, my main wish will be for a nice hotel with a marble surround tub. What will actually happen will probably be a coin-operated shower at the Brisbane City Marina. Oh well. We do have a modest wager going among the three crew members on how many days it will take to get from Cape Brett, NZ (passed at midnight on day 1), to northern tip of Moreton Island, (just off the Australian coast). The winner gets to pick a whole days worth of activities in Brisbane including lunch at a restaurant of their choosing. Steen said 11 1/2 days Malou 12 Angela 12 1/2 Looking good for me.
Time now for dinner. Pizza. Good for morale. Yesterday while the motion of the boat was decent I made bread and pizza dough. Glad I did. Homemade bread on night watches is a good thing.
We need to respond to some comments too. Yes, it was Joe and Sue Steinbrenner who influenced Steen so much that he started looking for a live aboard boat. Small world. And Dan, the most spectacular sight of dolphins at night and phosphorescence that we've seen was also off the California coast. Can't remember where, probably on the way to Santa Barbara. That was very cool. Lee, we would love to meet up with you in the Midwest. We will be in Joplin for three months this summer, definitely in early August. We'll send you an email when we get to Brisbane. To my friends Angela and Angela, you have such beautiful names...and it's so good to hear from you both. I will!!! get some emails sent off soon. Thank you for following along with us. It does make a big difference to get comments while at sea. Miss you. Take care.