Sailing around the World ( Presently at sea off the NE coast of Australia )

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Tue 17 Aug 2010 20:43
TUESDAY  17th August    2010
00.00hrs  The wind was very strong, blowing over 30knots and we must gybe the boat,
There are three of us on deck at this stage,  Niall is asleep down below, so rather than gybe, we do a tack /gybe set.
We had 2 reefs in the main, with no other sails up. and we were still doing in access of 8 knots,
The skies are clear and the 1/2 moon is setting over the hills to the west.
Two large coal ships passed us going south to collect their precious cargo and take it to China.
01.45hrs   We passed kings Island, and altered course by 20degrees to port,
The moon had dissapeared by now and the wind increased to 39 knots and gusting to 43 knots at times,
The sea state was rough, and we had to keep a sharp lookout for trawlers and passing ships,  all the hidden reefs and tiny islands we could pick up on the chart plotter.
07.00hrs, Another beautifull day, clear blue skies, with a reduced wind speed of 21knots,
We have covered 100n miles since we left Lizard Island, ( speaking of which, skipper had a swim off the back of the boat at Lizard. as
we were now entering Crockadile infested waters and this was the last safe place to have a dip.)
We have covered 235 miles since we left Cairns,
We gybed the boat again onto starboard, still maintaining a speed of 7 knots.
11.00 hrs,  The Customs flew overhead in their large turbo aircraft,  5 minutes later, they were on ch 16 asking us all about ourselves,
where was our last port of call, where were we going, where are we from, and what are we doing, ! 
They sounded very nice guys, and we had a long chat,  some of them on board had Irish connections,  this always helps,
even if their forfathers were sent to Oz for all the wrong reasons.
14.00hrs,  the wind was still lowing very hard, but at least we were making good time.
at times we reached speeds of 11.10 knots.. we havent done that for a while.
Then it started to rain, and it rained for the rest of the day, and well into the night,
22.00hrs, we had a late dinner,, a premade stuffed and rolled chicken with a variety of veg,  pluis some red beans,
we were not really hungry, and besides , it was very rough....  this always knocks the edge off the appetite...
Anyway, the now 4 fat ducks could do with shedding some flabby lbs............
24.00hrs the clouds begin to break up and a few stars begin to appear ,, twinkling over our heads,
Night watches :-      12.00hrs  /  03.00hrs       Mary & Niall
                              03.00hrs// 06.00hrs         Skipper & Aileen.
Thats all for today,
Signed  :-  Stephen  Hyde   ( skipper )