Monday 30th April 2012
Bright & sunny, but a cold start to the day - temp down to 3C overnight!
Collected some vacuum-packed frozen meat from Clubhouse freezer, got rid of rubbish and generally checked things over before Mick & Martin, the Customs officials, came on board to organise my Clearance and tax refund (tax can be claimed back on all single bills over $300). They have been very helpful from before my arrival to now, as were Quarantine.
Fixed the Hydrovane vane in place, Dorothy and Sithu kindly removed the sailcover while I was busy down below, I raised the lazyjacks after sail ties were removed and then - engine on! I left the dock and headed off to set sail - but came back for a photo shot of 'Nereida' with sails filling in a light breeze - seemed too good an opportuntity to miss, since Dorothy and Sithu both had their cameras ready!
Motored off down the River Derwent in hardly any wind towards the 'Iron Pot' - marker at port limit - and on towards Cape Raoul at the S end of Tasman Peninsula. Reached there as the sun was nearly setting on the dramatic rock formations of the Cape and coast nearby... A gannet and an albatross flew past - they probably nest on the rocky stacks I was looking at. A wonderful scene - I took lots of photos!
On , as darkness fell, past Port Arthur, towards Tasman Island - its lighthouse flashing in the night. The moon was bright - it will be nice to have its light for this passage to New Zealand's Southern Cape. To emphasize the cold air, it was surrounded at a distance by a pale white circle - a corona, made up, I think, of ice crystals in the air.
The wind is up nicely just now - around 16-19 knots on a beam reach - it was lovely to kill the engine once I was safely past Tasman Island and in the open sea. I heated up the big ratatouille stew I made last night & enjoyed some, sat down to write this after checking the sail trim (we're making around 7 knots) and will shortly settle into night/sleep mode...
The bad news is that a Low coming off Sydney will give headwinds almost certainly in a few days' time - so I'm heading East while I can, to give a possibility of having an angle on the E winds expected later - then to head SE-S maybe... We'll see how things work out!