Distance run in the last 6hrs; 15NM
Average speed; 2.5KN
Weather; Beautiful blue skies, calm seas, temp 23.6°
As we proceed into Port Davey we have a curious visitor, a seal. He hangs around close off the stern, diving under the ship and coming back to look at us looking at him. The water turns from a turquoise blue to a yellow/black colour, this is because four major rivers feed into Bathurst Harbour bringing with them, tannin-stained water. In this case the tannin compound is leached from the peat soils of the buttongrass moorland and heathlands. Fresh water is much denser than the salt water and so the tannin stained fresh water sits 4m on top of the clear salt water, which creates a unique environment for unusual marine ecology. As soon as we start to proceed into Bathurst channel it is impossible to tear yourself away from the deck due to the astounding, remote, mountainous landscape. It is breath taking with having the waves crashing on to the craggy crop of rocks and then as soon as we are in the mouth of the Bathurst channel everything turns into a calm, beautiful serenity.
We drop the anchor at 1810, which is later than anticipated, but we are in no rush to arrive and also having only motored 6NM of the 420NM that we have so far travelled, it seemed criminal to start the iron staysail any earlier than necessary.
There is a real buzz and atmosphere on deck as everyone takes in the stunning 360° landscape. The sunsets like a picture perfect moment and there is no shortage of spectators. Tonight everyone will sleep well, the ship is still and silent apart from the loud snore of those sleep deprived crew. The stars are sensational there isn’t a blank part of the sky and the Southern lights glow again in the distance, followed by shooting stars and satellites.
Morning arrives with fresh faced crew; it is hard to recognise some of them without the heavy dark bags under their eyes. This morning we are going to make the most of this beautiful location and take the crew out in the boat to get some shots of the ship in this picturesque location. Then some crazy crew member asks the Captain if there is time for a quick dip and the captain never being one to say no to a swim in the big blue, opens up the pool. Before the word goes out for everyone to jump in Chief Officer Dirk gives the water a quick thermometer check which reads at a chilling 16°. This deters nobody as there is a mass of bodies throwing themselves over the side. Fun is had by all even those sensible characters spectating as they hear the cries of chill as the crew emerge from their jumps.