We're waiting for a "weather window" long enough to take on the leg to Deal Island which is smack in the middle of Bass Strait. The earliest opportunity currently appears to be early Thusday. So we're watching the clock. Not the clock pictured here, mind you, that's Te Moana's (one with a tide hand).
January 2006 Archives
There were a number of reasons why I eagerly accepted an offer from Peter Style to join the cruise of Belage to Hobart. I have few opprtunities to sail with experienced sailors, I enjoy long sea passages and it was time to get some sailing experience on a "monomaran".
And after the first three days, I haven't been disappointed. We've arrived in Eden after two interesting and satisfying legs (Pittwater-Jervis Bay, Jervis Bay-Eden). My sailing experience is a little lacking compared to the others, but I'm enjoying it and learning plenty. The heeling makes moving around the deck a lot more hazardous than on a "proper boat", but makes you feel closer to the sea. And with mainly following seas sofar, I'm getting a chance to acclimatise.
While there are some differences, many things about cruising on Belage are the same as on Te Moana. I love the sea, its moods and its rythm. And the companionship of friends and creatures of the sea. Dolphins are always welcome companions and this trip is no different. Between Jervis Bay and Eden, we enjoyed the company of a pod of at least 30 dolphins, including "mothers and indulgent dolphin kids". It so hard to get a photo which represents the thrill and enjoyment of dolphins playing around a boat at full speed. This picture at least show a hint of what it's like to be surrounded by dolphins playing with a 55 foot sailing boat.
All in all, a healing experience indeed.
Leaving on Belage for Hobart this morning, I couldn't help myself. I had to take a shot of Te Moana as we came past. I don't see her on the Marina from this side very often.
Anyway, as I write this, we're off the coast at Port Kembla. It's late afternoon and the North Easterly is finally getting up a bit. The current is helping us a lot and we've been making good progress, expecting to get to Jervis Bay around 2100 hrs.
As part of another project, I've been doing a "mashup" of Google Maps to build an online log (as opposed to blog)for cruising boats. The idea being that someone on the boat posts regular position reports to a website, which plots the position of the boat using Google maps. That way, friend and family can follow progress by checking that web site. As I'm "crewing" on Belage, I thought that would be a good opportunity to trial the sytem. We're bound to have a glitch or two, and we'll find out whether it is practical to upload position every four hours or so. Follow along here and at the Skipr site.
This Thursday I'm joining Peter Style and the crew of Belage on a cruise down to Hobart. A great opportunity to get a taste of another cruising ground as well as an opportunity to learn the ropes on a very different boat from Te Moana. Expect to see occasional posts here about Belage's journey south over the next week or two.
It was good fun to share our new year's celebration with a full crew
Mel and Craig on the trampoline
Troy was "hooking" some nice bream
Dawn joined us at Woolwich and came back to Pittwater with us
Careful observers will note that I missed out taking a shot of (at) Jason, but he was there! Joy and I really enjoyed have them all with us on the boat for New Year's eve.