Eastern Eastern Bass Strait

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 26 Jul 2012 03:09

Noon Position: 38 25.4 S 148 36.9 E
Course: North-east Speed: 4 knots
Wind: North- F4 moderate breeze
Weather: sunny, mild
Day's run: 87 nm sailed, 54 nm made good

We continued north to the edges of the Bass Strait oil field, its large rigs lit bright in the evening sky, where I shortened sail in the rising wind for a more comfortable ride overnight. I contemplated whether we should continue through the oil field or tack and skirt around it and the traffic separation scheme immediately to its south. The oil field is a restricted area to ships over 200 tonnes, I procrastinated for a little while weighing up the pros and cons but in the end Sylph made up my mind for me by tacking herself as I was in the process of shortening down her headsail. Thus it was that we spent the night jogging around in between the southern boundary of the oil field and north of the traffic separation scheme. It made for a long night as I had to keep a reasonably close eye on the navigation, lots of broken sleep and vivid dreams involving heeling frigates and fires in the fo'csle.

Now we are well clear of the oil fields getting closer to the south east corner of mainland Australia and the wind is slowly backing into the north-west as forecast. At last I have been able to ease sheets ever so slightly, which means Sylph is under less strain, she stands a bit straighter and goes a bit faster.

The sky is blue, the sun is shining.

All is well.