A calm start

Miss Molly 4
Bob & Peggy Wilkerson/Geoff & Merel Pettifer
Sat 19 Jun 2010 00:11
22:27.30 S
163:49.31 E

Hello dear all,

It is 3:30 in the morning. Half an hour ago my second night watch started. I
have since noticed that the near half moon has gone to bed early. But the
stars remain and what a display it is! They are everywhere and to such fine
detail - a very clear night indeed. By just looking up for a minute you will
be sure to witness a trail of a falling star, so it will be a night full of
wishes. Add to that the balmy temperature and phosphorescent in the water.

We left Noumea this morning when we were ready to do so - had to say goodbye
to several people on the dock first. Waved off by quite a crowd, we left for
the calm waters around us. It was a beautiful morning and at the skirts of
the surrounding reefs near the pass was a flurry of tourist activity going
on. Surfers, jet skiers, charter sail boats at anchor, snorkellers, divers
and fishermen. As soon as we came out of the reef it got a bit more rolly.

We tried, but there was not enough wind to sail. The forecast is that the
wind will pick up and only get stronger, so all we have to do is keep going
and we will find some. The bonus of such gentle wind conditions is
relatively flat water. That's when James spotted whales about a mile away
behind us, by seeing them blowing. "There she blows!" we said in good
whalehunter terms for the next 15 minutes. That made large the Japanese
fishing vessel that got out of the reef with us earlier that day even more
suspect. Would they be on the hunt for whales in the area? We are hoping for
the best.

Several boats left Noumea a day before us to go to Australia, so who knows,
we may actually see someone underway! Our waypoint is at the entrance of the
Great Barrier reef, which at this moment still is 620 Nm away. That means we
will be having a few more nights out here.

I am now going back to my starry night!

Cheers from
Merel & the others of the crew: Geoff & James