Aus 2019 Thank you Ma'am
Thank You Ma’am
For our substantial mooring on Commonwealth Territory
This passage of 150 miles that took just 29 hours was surprisingly tiring and here’s two reasons why. The wind started off being light and variable and then moved gradually 270’ around the compass increasing to 34 knots at one stage during the night and never dropping to less than 24 knots until the second morning. A Low was making its way across us. We had predicted it but one thing that varies without warning is the wind speed. So we were constantly on the lookout for the changes and had to react with rig alterations accordingly.
Secondly we both take two, three hour rest periods at night and during the first we are unlikely to get much sleep so by the second morning we are lucky if we’ve had three hours sleep during the night. It sorts itself out on longer passages because by the second night we are so tired sleep is inevitable.
During our one night we sailed through the smoke haze off Sydney and Botany Bay; Rob saw the orange glow of the fires occasionally infiltrated with flames and the next morning Zoonie’s decks and windows were once again covered with sooty smuts. In fact her teak decks were getting a clean using ash and salt, from the waves breaking onto her bow, just as people used in the pre-toothpaste days.
An orange segment moon hung in the starlit sky while Orion and the Southern Cross kept vigil.
Next morning a Wandering Albatross swung elegantly by Zoonie heading north and when Rob was leaning over the stern to swing up the Watt&sea two dolphins came over and looked him in the eyes just to make sure he was ok.
Still sailing we approached Jervis Bay and the wind veered westerly from SW and, as we have learned before, an offshore wind can send sudden, vicious gusts offshore that can rise in seconds to 40 knots and more, but fortunately we were nearly into the protection of this vast and beautiful bay. We picked up one of the substantial National Park pink buoys that can take up to 40 tons, us being just 14 tons we felt very secure. The idea of the anchoring ban and the provision of these pretty and practical buoys is to protect the seabed from the scouring effect of chains and allow the seagrass to flourish and it is doing just that, providing home to numerous fish.
Before roads were built onshore Jervis Bay served as the place where ships loaded up with produce from inland settlements bound for Sydney. With the building of Canberra as the nation’s inland capital it was decided in 1908 that the capital should have access to the sea at Jervis Bay, so 28 square miles were handed back to the Commonwealth Government from the NSW Government. Hence our thanks to Her Majesty.
The Naval College now known as HMAS Cresswell was built at Captain’s Point in 1915 and has served its purpose since excepting between the years 1930 and 1956 when it was a tourist resort.
In the minds of some developers Jervis has been threatened with a whaling station, Nuclear power station and a steel mill but fortunately none have come to fruition and Jervis remains a jewel in the crown of Australia’s South East.
As I type (6th Dec) this is our second day here and it is a much gentler day than yesterday when Zoonie was tugging against her bridle lines onto the buoy in a strong westerly. Flies of all shapes and sizes were coming aboard for a look see, but now we are netted in with nets over the companionway and open window, so along with the semi-permanent fly screens on the windows we are enjoying a much more restful day. In the afternoon yesterday smoke from the fires to the SW of here reached the skies above as you can see and the sea eagle was up in the sky to take a look.
Just now a tough little metal workboat from the National Park Moorings Dept. came around and asked folk to rig bridles to the mooring buoy line to keep it off the boats and protect it from wear.
Rob is overboard in his wetsuit cleaning the hull, he will be a tired and hungry bunny when he comes back on board.
Looking at the weather for our next opportunity to head south, this time to another lovely big natural harbour, Eden, it looks like an early start on Sunday when we will leave here for the 120 mile leg. Then we have to wait there for the right time to cross Cook Strait to Tasmania, around 300 miles of whatever the weather gods choose to throw at us.
In the meantime Zoonie, Rob and I would like to wish all of you kind and loyal readers a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas time. xxx