Thanks all for the good vibes!
First, my apologies for the lack of comms... after leaving Southport on Tuesday AM, we had a rather uncomfortable couple of days. The weather nastiness peaked off Fraser Island, with a 3-4 metre swell, a 30-something knot south-easterly and a ripper current - all of which made for more chop than a Chinese grandmother's kitchen. The boat has been wet and even my cabin (which affords the luxury of standing room, cupboard space, reading light and porthole overlooking the tramp) sweats. (V good decision to invest in Pelican cases for laptop and camera!)
Even eating has been difficult and I've discovered that there ARE circumstances where a peanut butter sandwich constitutes an elaborate and nourishing meal. Speaking of sandwiches... my first encounter with the galley went down like, well, a sea anchor. Trying to make lunch on day one in a hairy sea-state, having not yet found my sea legs, was a dubious call. I turned green very quickly and had to come up for air. The very gallant first mate Raf took over in the galley, leaving me to ferry plates to the wheel-house. Even that job escaped me... I went a-up on the wet deck and wore the skipper's sandwiches. Yup, a somewhat inauspicious start from the ship's cook!
Since then I've sufficiently redeemed myself with an all-night watch (I got on a roll, assisted by some Old Gold Jamaica and the feeling of being in charge of a 63-foot vessel while three boys slept). Have also churned out a few meals (eg, roasted vegetable ratatouille with minted couscous) - all fare has been vegan in deference to our Sea Shepherd, Nima. Have also perfected skip's coffee... not so hard since he be a fellow coffee snob!
Thursday night we anchored at Middle Percy Island and in the morning motored into the (very narrow) lagoon to replace an anode on one of the props. What a beautiful spot all to ourselves - perfect prop-scrubbing scenery! Middle Percy is home to the fabled beach hut where visiting yachties leave relics from their boats that declare 'I was 'ere'. Spent a good hour wandering through this living library and 'immortalised' Pelican 1's presence in runny ink on coconut husk. Also signed the visitor's book in case you-know-who ever gets here and finds I beat him!!
Well, it's Saturday morning and we're approaching the Whitsundays. Unfortunately we're in a bit of a hurry to get to Cairns for more work on the boat before we leave for Cooktown... though skip has touted the prospect of a stop and a swim, so I'm off to subtly lobby some more in that vein!
May not be able to post again til we arrive in Cairns early next week... will add more pictures then too and resolve blog layout 'issues'.
Hope all's well on land! x