Sunday, November 20, 2011

Last Passage

We've been in Iluka, NSW for four days - long enough for us to catch up with our team here.  We've been to a couple barbies, Elias has had a couple of long plays with his mates, and I've been for a surf.  And we had the great treat of overlapping with some good sailing friends who happened to be anchored here, the same people who were sailing in company with us the first time that we came to Iluka, on Christmas Eve three years ago.

It was only when we arrived here that we felt that the trip was really over.


I'll just share a few photos of our 18-day passage from Futuna to Australia, the last passage of the trip, and also the last offshore passage that we're planning until we head to New Zealand in a year.

When we left Futuna we knew that a "squash zone" of enhanced trade winds was heading our way, but we just couldn't talk ourselves into sitting at anchor for another three days to let it pass us by.  So we sailed into it - here we are, with all hands tethered to the boat.  Once the winds piped up poor Eric threw up twice, and after that we kept him in the cockpit, where he doesn't get sick as easily.  Keeping a 1-year-old entertained while he's strapped into a seat all day is a bit of a challenge...

 Once the weather improved, Elias started to spend a lot of time fishing from the rail...

...but the only fish we caught was this flying fish that landed on deck.  Tasted great.

Soon after this picture was taken it was my turn to get sick - I was useless all day, and barely managed to stand watch that night.  Not so easy for Alisa to cover all the bases solo!  And hard to imagine doing a trip like this with someone who wasn't so supportive.

We anchored in Ouvea for the night to get some sleep.  I rigged up a buoy swing on the end of the boom for Elias while we were there.

 Baby sea snakes were attracted to our lights at night.

Elias doing his school work, back at sea.

Sooty/short-tailed shearwaters near the south end of New Caledonia.  These birds split their time between Tasmania and Alaska, and are therefore very close to our hearts.

After New Cal we sailed into a giant wind hole.

On the second half of our trip the mahi mahi drought finally ended - in a big way!  We ate a lot of mahi mahi.

That last fish was caught the day that we made it into Bundy.  By then, we had been sailing long enough that the beginning of the trip was already fading from memory.  Before the fact, I had confidently predicted a twelve-day passage.  Alisa was kind enough to only bring that up once or twice.  We still love long passages, we still felt the peace of being at sea, far from everyday cares.  But we missed the radar alarm on this one - would have been good to get some more sleep!

The end.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm.... we tried to buy your book, and they did give us the blog discount but then more than doubled the price to send it to England. By TNT!!! They wouldn't post it.

    Never mind, we'll get it delivered to Aus and pick it up next time we're passing by, but just thought I'd let you know that your publisher isn't making it easy for your foreign friends! Not a moan.