Friday, March 12, 2010
We are 40 miles from Gabo and 69 from Eden. This bit of this journey always seems to take for ever - perhaps according to my modification of Parkinson's Law: The time for the final stage of a journey expands in the mind to exceed the time for all of the previous stages. Assuming, of course, that you are busting to arrive.
Gabo Island light marks the south eastern corner of mainland Australia yet it has a surprisingly short range - only 16 miles. Green Cape, around the corner, has 17. Tasman Island, at 276 metres above sea level, only 18 although we were seeing it at about 22 a few nights ago. Cape Tourville on Tasmania's east coast, at 21 miles, is one of Australia's most powerful. I suppose the governing factor for range is the need for a continuous chain of lights along a dangerous coastline and the cost of building lighthouses in the 19th century (here I should cite 'The Lighthouse Stephensons' but it is packed deep in the impenetrable fossilisation that is Berri's forepeak).
There are three ships between us and Gabo - it's not the English Channel but busy enough when you haven't seen many ships in nearly 6 months. I am surprised that there is no separation zone here. One of the ships, the Itajai Express, will arrive in Sydney tomorrow at 0930. He's doing 21 knots - I wonder how fast Groupama is going and whether they have made up their time. When we were rolled in 2007, AMSA diverted a Korean woodchip carrier to our position - I don't remember its name but I wonder where it is now. I wrote to thank the Captain afterwards and he replied wishing us well, so I have his contact details somewhere.
The VoA is back to Sydney tolerances.
We should be in mobile phone range in about 10 hours.
Later: Position 0630 12th 3815 14928, trip 92, DMG 90. Not looking good for Sydney any time soon - my latest grib file shows the north easterly gradient on the back of the high setting in on Sunday at 15 knots. With the sea breeze amplifying it, it will become savage by midday until very late. The high is moving very slowly, so we might be ducking for cover during the days and travelling at night. Eden, Bermagui, Batemans?, Ulladulla? Jervis Bay? Could be Tuesday at the earliest for Sydney. We will need to restock the medical supply as well as fuel and mussels in Eden.
Seems the Examiner is still out here.