October 19

A strong North setting current was the greatest feature of last night. At times we had to steer up to 35 degrees to Stbd. of our desired course in order to achieve it. Further, even though we had a 10-12k wind on the stbd. beam at times, we could not make more then 4.5k over ground sailing alone, and we could not hold our course due to the current. At about 4am we passed the 100 meter contour line about 47nm off the coast of Australia and the current started running with us instead of from the North.

At 4am we are now sailing under main and genoa and are making about 6.5k over ground. The sea is flat and the (almost full) moon has just set. The sun is slated to rise at 5:03am, but the sky should begin lightening by 4:30. Until then, the stars are now visible. At our current speed we will arrive at Bundaberg at 11am, about 7 hours from now. The only expected hitch is that high tide, according to the CMap tide computer, occurs at about 7am. After that the current should switch and be against us. This could make entering the river mouth which is the entrance to Bundaberg a slow process.

It is now 8am and we are still sailing under main and genoa in 15k True wind from the NW. We are making about 6.5k over ground and have about 20nm to go to Bundaberg. The sun is shining brightly and the captain is in the galley cooking like a madman. Australian quarantine officers are going to take all of our fresh/frozen meat when we arrive, so he is trying to cook as much of it as possible to save it from the trash heap. He is preparing a very large chicken curry with tomatoes and pre-cooking more chicken in coconut milk for Thai food and another batch with just garlic and olive oil for use with pasta dishes. After the Quarantine officers depart, we can move the pre-cooked meat into the freezer for use later. The Chicken Curry will only benefit from sitting in the fridge for a day or two. If only we had room enough and time enough to prepare the remaining 8lb of pork cutlets, 5lbs of chopped beef and 3lbs of strip steaks! Obviously we provisioned expecting to be cruising another month - we didn't know we would be so soon in Australia (or New Zealand where they have the same policy). The sorry thing is all of the meat we purchased in Fiji was imported from NZ and the Ozzies have an exemption for NZ meats - only we cannot prove the meat came from NZ so we are convinced they will take it.

We got in to Bundaberg at about 11am with no difficulty. Clearance formalities were concluded by 1pm and we are all "resting comfortably" after the journey. Jonah is very excited about his birthday tomorrow and he and I spent an hour or two rounding up guests for his birthday BBQ bash tomorrow.