At last we are sailing in Australian waters

Rumpelteazer Pacific Crossing
Robert Holbrook
Sat 24 May 2008 08:31



We are now 290 miles from Mackay and there are mixed emotions on board Rumpelteazer.  Having travelled over 9,500 miles in the four months since we left Shelter Bay, arriving in Australia will be both exciting, and a little sad.  The big adventure is at last coming to an end. Today we hoisted the Australian flag, the last courtesy flag of our voyage.


We have had beautiful sailing conditions during the last 24 hours – winds on the beam, blue seas, gentler waves and quite a bit of sun – and we are beginning to catch up on our sleep.  We have made good progress – covering 179 miles in the past 24 hours, at an average speed of 6.8 knots.  We expect to arrive in Mackay at around lunchtime, local time (GMT minus 11) on Monday 26th May, in less than two days time.


We are still eating like kings, trying to work our way through our choicest provisions before we need to hand them all over to the Australian authorities. We still had some of the wholemeal flour brought out from the UK by Janey, so Pippa baked a scrummy loaf for lunch. 

Sadly the two enormous avocados (with more than 15 inch girths) bought in the Noumea market on Monday, are still too hard to eat - a buying error!  So, the said avocados are propped up on their own cushions with ripe bananas and placed wherever on the boat the sunlight is strongest. 


With the calmer seas, Robert took the opportunity to fix the generator – with lots of help from Susie who crawled inside the generator housing to remove the back panel.  They then had access to the adjustment arm on the alternator, which was seized up with the manufacturer’s original paint and locktite.  Having at last freed it, Robert was able to remove the old fan belt and replace it with the new one.  Satisfied smiles all round.


As we approach the Queensland coast, and work our way around the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, navigation will be even more critical.  Robert and Charles have been studying the borrowed paper charts with great concentration – as mentioned, our Garmin electronic chart stopped half way from New Caledonia. 


Our plan is to go through the Capricorn Channel tomorrow, Sunday, and then alter course for Mackay which will then be only 210 miles away to the north-west.  G'day Australia!