Australia Here We Come!!!

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Tue 5 Aug 2008 15:27

It is actually only just beginning to sink in that we have sailed (or on the case of this passage) motored Zipadedoda half way around the planet! Wow, here we are, about to go through the Great Barrier Reef via the Hydrographers Passage and onward to Mackay. 19:43:65S  150:40:02E. Some 16,000nm.


Jennie has been delighted with this passage. Very little wind for most of it, except for the first 24 hours. Then we did get some cracking sailing with a reach to the Grand Passage and beyond, where we were regularly clipping 9.5 to 8.5knots. Sadly that was not to last. So we have motor sailed or just plain motored for most of the remainder of the passage. All 1200nm of it! The cost of this passage in diesel is horrendous.


So other than a couple of events it has been (for me) a very tedious passage. That said, I have to concede that yesterday was a truly beautiful day, with brilliant sunshine, a dead flat calm, and just the odd zephyr of wind to temp you to put out the sails or just help keep us cool.


The previous day we saw a small pod of Killer Whales, but too far away for us to take any meaningful pictures.


However, this morning I was awoken by crew shouting, “Dolphins, Dolphins, hundreds of them”. Over and Over!!. I could hear them through the hull, making their excited squeaking noises. (The dolphins that is). So I dragged my weary body up into the dawn light to view the spectacle.  They put on a dazzling show for us. As usual a nightmare to photograph, and so I opted to use the Nikon with the high speed motor dive. Managed to rattle off over two hundred pictures. Most of them are in the trash bin, but some do convey the high speed drama of the occasion…………






They hung around for about 35 minutes. Just as well they decided to leave because crew was so excited by then and was dashing around all over the place, that it is a wonder that she managed to get any sleep after they left anyway!!


All of this was going on whilst there was an equally dramatic sun rise.




It was just like the proverbial “River of Gold”, and was a precursor for the day ahead.


As we entered Australian territorial waters we marched off to the foredeck for the Raising of the Courtesy Flag ceremony.



WE actually had some wind at this point. Hurray!


Finally, one of the little treats that I give myself, at the end of the day, when all is calm, is a sundowner beer. Just the one you understand!!


Crew had done a sterling job in provisioning the boat way back in Panama. 25 million years ago….well actually at the beginning of February. One of the “discoveries”  Panama was Balboa beer. Now I am not a great beer drinker, but this IS very tasty stuff.  So much so I have managed to eek it out , until that is today……..when I had the last tinnie.



Who says the camera never lies? It looks like I have had a whole case full of the stuff in this picture, but at this point I had in fact not even had a mouth full….honest.


Maybe the “look” is down to the fact that we are both completely stuffed! We have been munching our way through the fridge AND freezer  AND the fruit bowls in anticipation of Australian Customs confiscating all our food when we arrive. I have not eaten so much red meat in years!! I tried to catch some fish to give me a break from all the red meat. BUT I only got one on the line…a monster Mahi Mahi too, ………and after a 10 minutes battle, he got away. So I will probably be the size of a house when we get to Mackay.