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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Detour to Port Stephens

Battling South in 30 knot (plus gusts of up to 50) southerly winds with a huge swell is not easy and not at all nice... Unfortunately it seems that no remedies are helping with the sea sickness these days either, so that definitely detracts from any enjoyment I may have of the sailing! We had no chance to even get the sails up and so we were motoring all the way. 240 miles to Sydney should have taken about 2 days but the headwind meant that we were only travelling at about 2 knots. On Wednesday night we started to run low on diesel - which we realised when the engine spluttered and died (the fuel gague doesn't work...). We spent the next half hour putting more diesel in to the tank (filling the tank in that weather meant that we wore most of it...) and trying to start the engine which would start then stop again after a few seconds as the tank and lines had run completely dry. Eventually we got the fuel flowing properly and the engine started again. A quick fuel vs. miles calculation and we decided to make a slight detour to Port Stephens for sanity and refuelling.

Port Stephens is a nice little town - and we finally got the pub meal that we've been craving for so long! We've also been enjoying a warm boat for once now that we have attached an extension cord to the shore power allowing us to run a fan heater. What luxury!

Pelican Parade
Nelson Bay Marina

We're heading off again today (Sunday 25/7) as the winds finally look to be more favourable over the next few days. We probably won't stop in Sydney now (unfortunately...) but will go straight through to Eden where we'll wait until we get reasonable conditions to cross Bass Strait. The trip to Eden should hopefully only take about 3 days, so all going well we will arrive late Wednesday or early Thursday, but as we've shown many times on ths trip there are a lot of variables and so we will have to take what we can get!
Next stop (hopefully!!) - Eden!

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