Finally some sunshine this afternoon in the Whitsunday islands here in Australia. Bill (the captain) and I just finished a leftover pasta dish mixed up with some of the mackerel that we had a couple of nights ago. Not a bad meal after a wonderful day of sailing. The first two days, with lots of spray, scattered rain showers and cooler temperatures, we both had resorted to wearing our raincoats full time. Today started off much the same, but by the afternoon, the skies had cleared and we were enjoying the sun on our backs, clear skies and fair winds carrying us due South, a little closer to our destination of Port Mackay. The journey through the WhitSundays and along the Eastern Coast of Australia has been everything that I have wanted out of a trip on a sail boat. The days start slow with a cup of fresh coffee, followed by breakfast, maybe a dip in the water and then a full day of sailing with a destination in mind, but no particular anchorage picked out. Where we end up at the end of the day just depends on the winds that carry us and the amount of distance we can cover with those winds. No rush and no worries!
Life aboard Seawanhaka feels like a step back in time, minus the ipod and the laptop of course. As we haven’t been bothered to refuel the kerosene lanterns in the past couple of days, I am enjoying typing by candlelight at the dinner table. Above me is an enormous hatch. We keep it open when we are at anchor and it is not raining to reveal the millions of stars above and the bright moon shining in. With a full moon approaching, it is almost enough light coming in to eliminate the candles and lanterns altogether. The other night after dinner, since I cooked, it was Bill’s turn to clean up and I just kind of laid back on the bench in the saloon staring up at the stars. I awoke a bit later, realized where I was, but couldn’t be bothered to actually climb into my bed. A few raindrops landing on my head later in the night indicated that it was time to actually close the hatch and climb into my bed. The next morning, Bill told me that I had found the recliner. Apparently, everyone who sits where I do at dinner, falls asleep in that same position pretty often.
So, from here, we have two more days of sailing to reach Port Mackay. The winds are supposed to be a bit lighter so we will be taking two days to go just a short distance. Should be a pretty relaxing sail all the way in. Not that what we have done so far has been anything but relaxing. During the days, we have only seen a couple of other boats. Since leaving Airlie beach, we haven’t seen any other boats at any of the anchorages we have been in. Tonight there are actually a few lights a mile or so off on the Australian mainland coast, but the past two nights, the only lights we have seen have been our anchor light, the moon and the stars. Everything about this trip so far is exactly why I enjoy life aboard a sailboat.