Sun 20 Jun 2010 21:21
Monday, 6am, 21 June
Positions Great Keppel Island 23:10S 150:56.7E
Freshwater Bay 22:38.8S 150:47.4E
Blunt Bay, Percy Islands 21:39.2S 150:20E
Have been working hard to get north as quickly as possible, with short overnight halts for food and rest. As feared rather too much going on from a weather and navigational point of view to snug the boat down at night and let her sail herself. Hannah has the enthusiasm, but not the stamina, for long night watches. Still, we managed 70 miles yesterday, starting at 6am in the dawn, and arriving here with moonlight and the GPS well after dark. Today promises very windy, but its downwind so we should be fine for the next anchorage, Scarfell Island.
So busy sailing we almost don't notice the scenary, but it is wild up here, very few yachts except at Great Keppel, and no shoreside looms to suggest civilisation. Verdant Islands obviously catch some rain, and there are many of them, strewn across our path, mostly steep sided, and offering no refuge. Nicest anchorage so far was freshwater Bay, so sheltered despite an unpromising appearance on the map. Blunt Bay feels rather exposed, with a swell, and strong gusts of wind and rain through the night. It is between North East Island and Walter Island. Both are wooded and attractive: On many other Islands goats were introduced to provide potential food for shipwrecked mariners, and in no time all the vegitation had dissapeared. The Aboriginees knew when to leave things to nature! A pod/school? of ten dolphins amused us for an hour yesterday morning, but no whales, it is not the season. Also no biting flies for several days. It is still jolly cold: last night coming in here I had two sweaters and a fleece under my oilskin, in the miday sun it is by contrast very pleasant, but not yet hot, and no sunburn. We are going to run out of bread today, and Hannah will have to survive on ryvita, until we get to Airlee in three days time! She reads a lot, and is a good help about the boat, but can't manage many of the ropes and winches. Not sure that she could sail the boat back to harbour on her own, but she does no how to activate the EPIRB! We have magnetic Scrabble, except the middle letter always drops off! With conditions on passage the school curiculum is necessarily neglected, but ah, the University of Life!