Heading North - Day Two - 26 54.437S 153 32.802E

Mike and Liz Downing
Thu 27 Jun 2013 06:38
Our second night at sea as we make slow progress up the coast. When leaving Coffs Harbour the forecast included a period of 25-30kts as an east coast low worked it's way up the coast. Other boats were coming into the marina to wait for it to pass, but the swell was also coming up and the marina staff reckoned we wouldn't get out of the harbour again until Friday or Saturday. We didn't want to wait that long so decided to go. The boat was well battened down with a small sail plan ready for the bad weather and only making around 5kts over the first night and most of yesterday as we waited. As we left that forecast area, it still hadn't arrived. But we would much prefer it that way round. At 5kts it was very comfortable, but slow and so it's been a plod up the coast rather than a sprint.  Up until this morning that is. The forecast for the new area we were in was 20-25kts from behind, so both poles went up and with sails out it was up to 6kts or more (with only 7kts apparent - we do like this rig!) while we waited for the stronger winds.  Much better, but it didn't last. Within a couple of hours the wind was down to 5kts or less on the beam and its stayed that way. So at midday the engine came on and at a steady 5kts and we're plodding up the coast once again.
We have left New South Wales behind and are now in Queensland. We've also left the Tasman Sea behind and are now in the Coral Sea. That sounds much warmer, but it was still 3 layers of clothes plus full foul weather gear, plus 2 blankets when on watch last night! Over the last 24 hours we have plodded 115 miles, so we are getting somewhere and are just passing Brisbane, but it is slow going. The forecast for the next 2 days is 15-20kts from behind, so that couldn't be better. Only hope it arrives before we run out of fuel!