Distance run in the last 24hrs; 42.4NM
Average speed; 1.7KN
Weather; Force 1-2, sunny clear skies, slight swell, SE
The Top Gallant’s are set and we sailing along at a pace of approx. 3 knots in beautiful sunshine and slight seas. Most of the crew spend the day on deck and why wouldn’t you, with such beautiful scenery and stunning weather.
When leaving Eden we had a choice to make, either head out past the continental shelf approx. 32NM offshore or hug the coast between 3 – 5 NM offshore. The reason being is that as we sail north we have the East Australian Current flowing from North to South along the continental shelf. It is the largest ocean current close to Australia. It has been recorded to have reached speeds of 7 knots but is generally at speeds of 2 – 4 knots. If we get within the parameters of the EAC we would find ourselves going nowhere if we are trying to head north at 3 knots and the current is heading south at three knots. It is a similar experience we encountered when we left Sydney 13 months ago, we spent a couple of days going backwards as we ventured too far offshore and into the EAC.
Cook also sailed past these shores back in 1770, whilst he was sailing up this coast south of Gabo Island they experienced somewhat different weather to what we are experiencing; ‘Friday, 20th. In the P.M. and most part of the night had a fresh Gale Westerly, with Squalls, attended with Showers of rain. In the A.M. had the Wind at South-West, with Severe weather. At 1 p.m. saw 3 Water Spouts at once; 2 were between us and the Shore, and one at some distance upon our Larboard Quarter. At 6, shortned sail, and brought too for the Night, having 56 fathoms fine sandy bottom. The Northermost land in sight bore North by East 1/2 East, and a small Island* (* Gabo Island.)
At 1510 The Mainmast head up aloft to hand the Fore T’Gallant and then at the change of the watch at 1600 Mizzenmites Chris and Brad try the heads for height and go aloft to furl.
During the evening the winds subside even more and helming becomes difficult, with it also comes some light rain and drizzle.
The morning however brings us another glorious day and even with the winds easing and changing direction, we continue on barely making one knot. But as Graham from Mainmast points out, it doesn’t matter so much as we take in the view of Mount Dromedary and enjoy the sunshine.