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Date: 05 Nov 2012 08:49:09
Title: AUSTRALIA! We've done it!!

Lat 24:45.71S
Lon 152.23.16E

9,500 miles and 249 days since we landed in Panama, we have sailed across the Pacific Ocean! We arrived in Bundaberg this morning, and are now safely berthed in a marina. It's a bit weird to think we have successfully achieved what we set out to do, because really until we get to Sydney the trip is not over and we haven't quite completed our challenge! Still, it does feel VERY good knowing that we have sailed across the largest ocean in the world.

The second half of our passage was not as enjoyable as the first. Friday turned out to be just as "light and shite" as Ewan predicted, and we had recollections of being back in the doldrums at the very beginning of our trip out of Panama! We had to motor for 28 hrs, and were getting a little worried about our lack of fuel, when finally at midday on Saturday the wind filled in again. The passage took us exactly a week which is pretty good going really - helped by some very speedy days at the beginning. Huge thanks to Ewan for being an awesome weatherman every day!

Australian customs are notoriously strict, and there is a bit of faff to go through (plus a rather large cash sum to be deposited) as we have to import the boat into Australia before we can sell it. We knew about that though so that part is ok. The kick in the teeth is that the quarantine department believes our boat is a 'high risk' boat for having termites, which the authorities seem obsessed with! No worries about any other pests, it's termites they're after! So before we can leave Bundaberg we have to have a termite inspection which we could not get before Friday, for the wee price of $600. That's for an hours work for two people! Having the guy from quarantine uproot the whole boat and look in every locker and every nook and cranny this morning felt like the walk of shame! Our boat needs a serious clean and we've had a bit of a cockroach issue in the last couple of weeks so Mystic was not looking her best! Needless to say we will be spending the week in the marina cleaning and scrubbing! We need to do this anyway to glam her up for sale, so it's not too much of an issue, but we are keen to get to Sydney asap and were hoping we'd be out of here in a couple of days.

The passage was easier than I thought it would be - this is the longest passage we've done just the two of us. We do shifts of 3hrs on, 3 hrs off at night, but it's amazing how you get used to it, plus it's the perfect excuse for granny naps during the day! With a whole week to do not very much, I have been thinking about wedding plans (I raided the newsagent of bridal mags when I was back in Bondi the other week!) and Archie has been designing and building his sailing app that is going to make us millionaires :-)

It's nice being in the safe comfort of the marina, despite the cost. I'm looking forward to a hot shower and a white magnum ice cream…maybe at the same time?!

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