It was crisp and clear this morning as we motorsailed out of the Sydney Heads, destined for Lord Howe Island, about 420 miles northeast. A ferry penguin noisily chased us as if to say a final goodbye to the “Moonshadow” from Sydney.
One of the few bad things about cruising is moving on and saying goodbye to all the friends we make along the way. We were especially fond of Sydney, and made lots of friends in addition to people whom we already knew who have migrated there.
Last night, tired after our final day of preparation, we attended a small get-together on Millenium USA to say “so long” to all our cruising friends in the marina who are either hanging around or heading for different destinations. We also had visits by Cate’s brother Matt, good friend Trish and my college fraternity brother Rob Salisbury. It’s always bitterweet to have to say goodbye to good friends and family, but exciting to be on the move again and headed back to all the beauty and tranquility of the tropical islands in the South Pacific.
After about a half-hour of motorsailing, the breeze picked up and we have been sailing in a cool 10 to 15 southerly knot breeze just forward of the beam, averaging better than eight knots of boatspeed all day. The seas, lumpy along the New South Wales coastline have been calming down a bit, making it easier to get our sea legs (and paws).
In addtion to Cate, MaiTai and I, our crew for the trip is Tim Prior, a friend and frequent crew aboard “Bossanova.” Tim is a marine biologist, surfer, and season traveler.
As of this writing, we were approximately 150 miles northeast of Sydney in very good sailing conditions. We had a “swim by” earlier today from a pod of very large dolphins who choreographed a couple of nice synchronized jumps in our bow wake.
With a waxing moon, lots of bioluminescence in the water and a bright display of stars, sailing at night just doesn’t get much better.