Wednesday, January 13, 2010

South of Sydney

Our stay in Sydney was brief.  On January 4th the northerly winds returned, and we were back on the road.

After all, we have a deadline.

South of Sydney, we got that delightful feeling that you get when you're travelling on a sailboat and everything goes better than you had hoped - the feeling of getting away with something almost illicit.  We turned steady north winds and a strong south-setting current into cracking-good days of travel - we made 81 miles on one day sail with time left over to fuel and water at our destination - something completely unheard of.  When the northerlies built to 30 knots, we found a great open roadstead anchorage where we bobbed on a calm patch of ocean and slept soundly.  When the southerlies returned, we spent a few days exploring the delights of the vast natural harbor of Jervis Bay - turquoise water and white sand and penguins (!) seen from the decks of Pelagic.

There are other signs that we are getting closer to high latitudes - the water is noticeably colder, and we are beginning to see Diomedea albatrosses.  Excitement builds.

We also, two days out of Sydney, had our best-ever experience with bow-riding  dolphins.  This small group stayed with us for about an hour, long enough for Elias to get a very good look.

I was able to leave Elias on the bow, alone, while I went back to get the camera.  He was wearing his harness, and Alisa was watching him from the cockpit, and he just stood there, holding on with two hands, watching the dolphins.  This is really a huge milestone - a year ago, we would never have thought about getting so far from him on deck. Things get easier for us.

They were (I'm pretty sure) short-beaked common dolphins, Delphinus delphis.

And now we're in Eden (don't ask me how it got that name...), the southernmost port in New South Wales, and our jumping-off point for the two-day crossing to Tasmania. 

Time to get to Tassie!

1 comment:

  1. Nice dolphin pics! They're so hard to catch on film.
    I hope you managed to get to the really good whaling museum in Eden, thoroughly recommended if only for the tales of Old Tom the whaling killer whale!