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Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 23/24, 2010 - Our Last Night of the Passage to Australia - Nearly There!

Saturday continued pretty much the same, we read. I baked a loaf of bread and we enjoyed hot fresh bread with butter and honey - yum! The evening was pleasant enough and then last night I just could not get myself to go to sleep at 7:30 for my watch. Frank said no worries, we would bump our schedule back an hour. By 8:30, though I went below, put an eye cover on and forced myself to try to get some sleep. I was dreaming away and snoozing soundly when Frank roused me at 10:30. I got up, saying, "has it been 3 hours already?" He said, "yeah" and headed off for the front cabin. I looked at the clock and went linear. I grabbed his arm and told him if he wanted to change to 2-hour watches, then fine, I would get up but otherwise I was entitled to another hour of sleep. We argued about this like children. He was tired and wanted to go to bed but wanted his 3 hours. Now for anyone who has never done this thing - two people on a passage fight like wolves for their sleep time because grabbing 2 - 3 hours at a time creates a cycle of deprivation until your body catches on. Finally, although quite unhappy about it, he agreed to give me another hour. When he roused me at 11:30, I was in a total brain fog. I got up shook the sleep out of my eyes, drank some strong tea, grabbed some sugary snacks and decided to try one of the audio books we'd picked up. Lots of our friends listen to books on passage; I've just not been able to get into it but decided to give it a try. So I grabbed one (Double Cross by James Patterson) and settled into it as my body began to jolt awake from the tea and sugar. I went through 2 disks that covered a little more than my 3 hours and realized this is definitely the way to do a night watch! I even gave Frank an extra 35 minutes of sleep, waking him after 3 AM. He was grateful and I was happy. Peace resumed aboard Destiny. We managed to make it through the night and readied ourselves for our last full day at sea.

After breakfast on Sunday, we decided it was probably going to be tame enough to play a game of cards so we settled into the cockpit for a game of Baja Rummy. The game took us a through the entire morning - it was a good match! For lunch I scrounged everything I could think of out of the fridge and freezer to cook up. We will undoubtedly have to give up food and who knows what else to the Q officer at check-in so we feasted. Of course we have heard horror stories from other yachts that have heard the stories from their friends arriving in Oz this year already. The stories range from…"They will take all of your food" to "They only looked in my fridge and freezer too the fresh and stuff and dairy" to "They will look in ALL your lockers, even in your dirty laundry bag to see what you might be hiding". One thing is for certain; this year bio-security seems to have become very concerned about termites being transported via infested vessels, so we are prepared for every locker to be opened and inspected for termites. Although our boat hull and structure is comprised of fiberglass, the interior is nearly all wood. We have been warned that boats with a lot of wood will be scrutinized very closely.

I spent the entire afternoon vacuuming, dusting and scrubbing down the inside of the boat. Although I did a deep cleaning just a couple of weeks ago, I am amazed how quickly dust, hair and unidentifiable particles collect on board. We will be as prepared as we possibly can and hope for the best. I know we have no bugs or termites.

After finishing cleaning, Frank and I sat in the cockpit enjoying a cold drink when he said, "Wow, look at those huge tankers!" Two large vessels were passing in front of us about 3 miles away. Frank looked them up on our radar and reported to me that one of them was traveling over 21 kts/hr. That is fast out here. We realized we are in some serious shipping lanes and that from here on in, we had better be extra vigilant, always having someone alert in the cockpit, because at night they will not see us until they are upon us, and trying to get out of their way isn't so easy when we are traveling between 5.5 - 6.5 kts.

We chewed on that for a little while, and then as dusk was approaching, he said, "Oh my gosh! Something huge just jumped out of the water! Over there!" and he pointed to about 11:00 out front. Sure enough just when I looked over, a pilot whale or a very large dolphin shot up out of the water about 10 feet and did a side flip! We saw a few more similar acrobatics and then suddenly the show was over. It was a nice end to our last evening on passage. Thanks, God. Nice job.

So now it is 6:30 PM. Frank just finished reporting in on the "sked". We are 100 miles away from Bundaberg. Frank estimates us passing through the reef pass at between 2:30 and 3:00 AM, and then it will be another 6 hours to the marina. We are nearly there - but the fat lady hasn't sung and chicks haven't hatched so I'm not counting anything yet.

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