Duet 2011 – Chasing The Tasmanian Devil
Monday, January 03, 2011
A happy New Year to all our friends!
May 2011 bring every one their dreams and desires, health and happiness.
We spent a happy Christmas in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Santa delivered perfect weather delicious food, wine and laughter. On Christmas Eve 5 of us went to Midnight mass in Russell. This was the first time I have had the opportunity to go to this service here. The tiny church was packed and the service was a mixture of traditional and modern with rousing and familiar carols. It was utterly beautiful rowing back to Duet at 0130 under a starry sky to the accompanying owl’s carol of ‘more pork’ ‘more pork’.
We have planned to sail to Tasmania for a couple of years and this looked like the year to do it. We cleared customs out of Opua on Friday 31st December knowing that we were going to be facing the unusual prospect of a perfectly sober New Year’s Eve. So whilst fireworks blazed from the Auckland Sky tower, London lit up the Thames and New York dropped the 6 ton ‘bomb’ we made do with firing off a couple of party poppers. We had to restrain ourselves from letting off our out of date flares at North Cape, we didn’t think the Coast guards would be too amused. Dolphins stayed with us all that night providing us with our own phosphorus fireworks and their squeaks and clicks were just pure magic to listen to. With very light winds and an messy sea we motored for sometime until the wind filled in and with a sigh of relief we turned off the engine. Duet flew along. Water trickling along the hull, the deck drains gurgled happily it was great to feel the deck moving beneath our feet.
No fish out here in the Tasman Sea; well ones at any rate that a willing to commit suicide on my line. To my surprise the sea is a deep blue and the water temperature is warmer than I had expected at 19.5 C. the waters off the north coast of New Zealand were several degrees colder. Today we were accompanied for a short time by a juvenile wandering Albatross – a tropic bird and various shearwaters. The wind has been up and down as we skate across the top of a high and when it falls light we motor to keep the speed up. We have 904 miles to go, about 1/3rd of the way.