Friday, February 3, 2012


How could this feel routine?

Saw a wandering albatross today, that ambassador of the Southern Ocean, a nearly mythical bird in my mind. It was huge, much bigger than the shy albatross we've also been seeing. Huge enough to glide all the way around the globe on the endless wind of the far south. It was the first one either of us had ever seen.

And then an hour later, a red-tailed tropic bird flew low over the boat. We've seen lots of those, but, of course, all in the tropics, and it was fun to see one south of our wandering albatross. What a transition zone this is.

We left Eden at nine-thirty last night. I was really tired from two pretty crazy days of getting various things done, and we talked about sleeping on the mooring in Eden and getting an o-dark-thirty start the next morning. But a review of the weather showed the winds getting strong and squirrelly on Sunday, and it was already Thursday night, and we had a more than 340 miles to go. So we slipped the mooring and motored through the night. Alisa woke me for my second watch shaken by the experience of being overtaken by a container ship making 18 knots and showing every inclination to run us down.

Today, overcast skies and the red-and-white spinnaker barely holding the breeze. Eric puking in the cockpit, but only once, and he's generally been fine. The family found its way through the day, the way we always do at sea. And now we're banging along at eight knots, everyone but me asleep, with mainland Australia out of sight in the dusk behind us.

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