One look at the MetEye map and you know that the guys have made huge progress northward in 56 hours!
They left Bermagui on Wednesday morning, initially motoring, but the engines were turned off later that day as the wind switched to the Southeast. More fishing of bonitos and whale watching occurred as they inched their way up the coast then entered busier waters: Wollongong, Cronulla, Sydney, Newcastle, Port Stephens… 56 hours after they left Bermagui, they pulled in at Crowdy Head, just south of Port Macquarie for an overnight rest. They will sleep well tonight at anchor. And it is well earned!
The second day and night underway gets really hard. The lack of decent sleep gets to you, the concentration needed when in more crowded waters is demanding, and you get this seedy feeling when tiredness overcomes you. It all catches up with you and it becomes really hard yakka. Our sailors had a tough second night at sea as they passed Newcastle and the many ships lined up along that stretch of coast, forcing them to steer much closer to the shore than they were comfortable with. It is not unusual to count 20 big ships, some anchored, some moving. It’s hard enough steering a course through the huge ships during the day, but at night it’s damn right stressful. The other thing that made it hard for them was that the wind and sea have been on their beam. This makes the motion of the boat very uncomfortable and to add to the challenge, George, the autopilot, does not do the best of jobs in these conditions, meandering widely. So the guys have had to hand steer a lot of the way, which makes the watches that much tougher.
It is without saying that the three of them are suffering from lack of sleep and feeling rather wasted. So although the weather is staying in the Southeast for quite a few more days, Wade has wisely opted to stop at Crowdy Head so the team can rest. An exhausted crew spells trouble and the last thing we want is mishaps and accidents at sea. No sailing tonight, just an early pre-prepared dinner (thank god for frozen meals) and beddy bye by nightfall at 5.30 pm !
They will resume their sail northward on Saturday. Stay tuned for the next instalment!