As I write this, we're sailing north from Port Stephens, New South Wales, towards the Gold Coast in Queensland. There's about 20 knots of wind blowing over our port quarter and despite a strong southerly current, Rutea is making a steady 7 knots. The seas are relatively flat and other than fairly heavy freighter traffic, we have the ocean to ourselves. After all, how many people do you know that begin a 300-mile passage on Easter Sunday?
After finally breaking Sydney's grip on our itinerary, we sailed north to Broken Bay and then worked our way up to Port Stephens. Two nights there and an expensive provisioning trip to the grocery store (plus a memorable meal at an Indian restaurant), we left there this morning while it was still dark. The forecast for southerly winds was too strong of a temptation to linger on Easter Sunday.
We have a fat ham in the oven and a massive dish of scalloped potatoes ready to be heated. My guess is that Easter has some originations in pagan cultures, long before Christianity was a religion, as a celebration of spring. The newness of the first buds and the return of green must have offered so much hope to those who had no knowledge of science. It must have seemed like such a miracle! It is a miracle! Of course, here in the southern hemisphere, its the onset of fall. In fact, we have the full cockpit enclosure all zipped up and we're wearing fleece and warm slippers.
All is great on board and all of Rutea's systems are working well. We are having a minor malfunction with our chartplotter, though. Periodically, the collision alarm goes off and all of us spring to attention. On the screen of the chartplotter a warning dialog box appears and reads: Dangerous Target Approaching. The name of the dangerous target? Rutea! Of course, we already knew that and its not really necessary to remind us every twenty minutes or so. Besides, its other boats that should be warned!
We wish all our family and friends in the northern hemisphere a very happy spring. To our friends in the southern hemisphere, watch out! A Dangerous Target is Approaching!
At 3/29/2013 9:01 AM (utc) Rutea's position was 32°42.90'S 152°10.28'E
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