So Far, So Good

Noon Position: 32 38.9 S  152 15.3 E
Course: North  Speed: 3 knots
Wind: west  F3 gentle breeze
Sea: slight Swell: south 1 meters
Weather: sunny, mild
Day’s run:  92 Nm
 
The winds eventually settled down into a very nice gentle westerly which kept the sails full and Sylph ambling along at a sedate three to four knots, with just enough pressure in the sails to negate the rolling effect of the low southerly swell.  Venus led the thin crescent moon down over the western horizon a couple of hours after the sun, leaving a crystal clear night sky ablaze with stars.  I stayed close to the coast to make the most of the breeze which meant not much sleep as I had to keep a close eye on the navigation and there were quite a few large merchantmen anchored along the coast, presumably waiting for orders to enter Newcastle Harbour.  But the mild fatigue was only a small price to pay to enjoy such a beautiful evening.
 
Come sunrise we were in the great arc of Stockton Bight and I bore away to follow the coastline to the north east.  At nine thirty we rounded Point Stephens and altered course to the north to weave our way amongst the many granite islands which are scattered around about the headland.  We have just found our way through the narrow strait separating Broughton Island from the mainland and are now opening the coast into clearer water.  There is a fresh northerly forecast for this evening ahead of a strong west to south westerly change later tomorrow.  I had toyed with the idea of anchoring in Esmeralda Cove on Broughton Island for the night but have decided against it as it looks very tight, and if conditions get nasty it might be difficult to make an escape from.  Generally speaking, the seaman’s rule of thumb is, if in doubt stay at sea.
 
So tonight I intend to stay reasonably close in again to see if we might gain some shelter behind Sugarloaf Point.  For now the wind is light and we are drifting along at less than two knots just to the north of Broughton Island.  With a bit of luck we should be in a good position to make the most of the change when it comes through.  We shall see how things unfold.
 
All is well.
 
The sandy shore of Stockton Bight:
 
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Sunrise and Point Stephens ahead:
 
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Rounding Point Stephens:
 
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RC sniffing the air:
 
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Some of the granite islands hereabouts:
 
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Broughton Island, now astern of us:
 
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