We are busily preparing the boat for an early morning departure! We moved around to Christmas Cove at Penneshaw yesterday to do some last minute jobs and stock up on fresh food. I love Penneshaw - its such a pretty town (despite the big ferry terminal smack bang in the middle of the bay!), good facilities, and its actually got a bit of hustle and bustle about it at this time of year.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand - our imminent departure. We are as ready as we're ever going to be, and although the winds are not in the perfect direction, the weather is about as good as we can expect at this time of year - low swell is forecast for the next 4 days, winds light to moderate, and the sun will be shining.
Since we left Adelaide in November we have logged a grand total of 310 nautical miles, which is an underwhelming average of about 6 nautical miles per day - but please keep in mind that 3 weeks of it was virtually stationary in American River! Coincidentally, or perhaps spookily, it is also 310 nautical miles to Port Fairy, which is our preferred first landfall in Victoria. At our current rate of 6 miles per day this would take us... oh, 50 DAYS or so! hehe
Don't worry, it will be more like 3 or 4 days. The plan is to leave at dawn tomorrow morning on the rising tide. New Years Eve will be on the sea, which will be very unique - but no drinking for us! Our intention is to arrive in Port Fairy in Victoria sometime on Tuesday, although we have a number of back-up options such as Portland and even Robe or Cape Jaffa.
Carol at VMR American River has been so helpful - she has called ahead to the network of volunteer marine radio operators along the coast to let them know we're coming, and has also sent us a heap of information about radio frequencies and coverage. Its possible there will be a few "black spots" along the way, but we have all the emergency equipment to get help if we need it - so we will be fine.
We are both feeling confident and excited about finally going to sea. Kitty is not impressed however - we put her harness back on her again last night so she could get used to it and she has spent every minute since giving us evil looks.
So here we go - wish us luck! We are as ready as we'll ever be - there's no more putting it off.
After all, they say that if you want to be a sailor, you have to go to sea!
Happy New Year!
Love, Caitlin and Michael
A few pictures from this morning...
Entrance to Christmas Cove