Sailing around the World ( Presently at sea, between Vanuatu and Mackay, Australia, )

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Fri 23 Jul 2010 01:40
WEDNASDAY   21st  JULY    2010        Night 6
Distance travelled, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,920 n miles,
Distance to Great Barrief...........................66 n miles
Wind ..................................................SE 26 knots
Sea state..............................................very bumpy
Weather, ..............................................Clear starrey moonlight night
03.00hrs, The wind, now going further behind us, has increased yet again to 30+ knots,
The deck is covered with Boobie Shit. Having hitched a free ride , you would think they would respect the boats deck .. little beggers.
We are so excited, Here we are going to go through the Great Barrier reef, We used to hear about these places when we were at school,
but now , this is reality, and we are almost there ,  
We adjusted the computer and clock times to the local time.
06.00hrs  .
Distance to the Barrier Reef    25 n miles. very , very windy, as predicted . we were told it would get very windy as we got closer to the reef.
and they were not wrong about that..
The race has been shortened to the " waypoint " at the entrance to the " Hydrographers Passage "  This passage is a shipping channel through the Reef
and from what we haer and have read, and the charts we have studied, this passage is well marked and well lit for night passages.
Now for us, it is daytime and we are almost there,
Cpipes,!  the excitment is visable, we are like a bunch of school kids going on a train ride to Outer Mongolia, or some remote planet.
09.31 We crossed the finish line, and head into the passage, Its a good job that its well marked , as all we could see was boiling water everywhere,
But, always the but, of course we could see our exact position on the Raymarine screen, Our GPS plots us onto the charts on the chart plotter screen,
so its like looking at ourselves on TV , moving across the chart.....ohhhhhhh so comforting....
But, more blooming But's , we have a 3.5 knot current against us, plus a 35 knot wind against us for the first 30 miles,
Boy, this is tough going, so we rolled up the headsails . whacked down the main hard and motor sailed the boat 30 degrees off, at 8 knots
But , we were only making a bare 4 knots over the ground, and was it rough. big seas running and water everywhere, we had leaks where we never saw
water before.
On top of all this, it was fecking freezing,  It was cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass Monkey, so we had to dig into the forward cabin and
locate all the heavy duty oilskins , plus wooley hats, furry knickers, willie warmers,  and gloves, can you believe that ! brrrrrrrrrr brrrrrrrr brrrrrrrr braaaaaasssss monkeeeeys.
We passed a number of big ships in the channel, monster coal ships, taking coal from " New Castle" to China..
Now , they dident have to worry about the weather, and they could possibly lite a fire on board, what with all the coal. thats an interesting thought,
would they have a fire place in these ships, I forgot to ask that question when on the radio to them, Idiot !
18.00hrs Eating was limited, no one rushing to the Galley to do a dinner, It was too bloody rough and cold, so we sat in the cockpit
with our arses freezing off,    Ohhh, but,  we did manage a G & T , just in case the customs would confiscate our ice !
22.00hrs, We could see loads of tankers at anchor 0ff to our port side, they looked like a city on the horizon, with all their lights blazing in the night sky.
We could also make out Mackay in the distance,   WOW, we are nearly there.
We got on the radio to " Rally Control" and were guided into the harbour,   Thats ourselves and " Ocean Jasper " as we had caught up with them at this stage,  We feel we have beaten them on handicap anyway,
With all sails safely rolled up, we made our way to the Quarintine dock and tied up to the marina, all this was securly locked so we could not wander ashore untill we get cleared to morrow by customs and immigration,
But,  We were invited to have a few whiskies with Emilio, from " Kalliope " , who was berthed on the same finger as ourselves.
The whiskey tasted like more, and more, so we had a very very, late night
Ohh , we are sooooooooo happy to be here,,, a great achievement, and a milestone in our trip,   Wowie !
Civilisation again for a while,
Well thats it for today,,,,,,, what a day,,
 Signed,   Stephen  Hyde,   ( Skipper )