At anchor, Broken Bay
Duyfken is currently anchored in Cowan Creek, in the upper reaches of Broken Bay. We came in yesterday afternoon with the wind going around to the NE, a dead headwind for getting up the coast and forecast to freshen today. Once more I thought it better to sit at anchor and get some work done, than try and fight north against adverse conditions. A wet day today, with rain through most of the forenoon and low cloud scudding overhead, proving the forecasters correct. Yesterday was a day of milestones. At about 0900, we crossed the entrance leads into Port Jackson, the magnificent harbour for Sydney, named by Cook after Sir George Jackson, a secretary to the Admiralty. Reaching that position, Duyfken has now circumnavigated the entire Australian mainland - a task begun over 6 years ago when we set off north from Fremantle. Sydney marked the end of that great voyage, I still fondly remember bringing the ship into my home port to a great welcome from crowds on North head, news helicopters buzzing overhead, the fire tug giving us a water spray welcome and dozens of vessels coming out to meet us. Some weeks later, the ship left Sydney to head north again, on her long voyage to the Netherlands. Now she has reached this point again, although the last few hours have been a slow haul as she battled against the strong south going current, the sea proving a point that nothing comes easily. I mentioned it at Gabo Island, but now she really has conquered the southern part of the mainland, just Tasmania to go now. Tasman of course, circumnavigated the continent in 1642, passing south of Tasmania and heading well out to NZ and the Pacific islands, so our Duyfken has seen a lot more of the coast than Heemskerk and Zeehan. The second milestone refers to this voyage and it was the 100th day of the Duyfken 1606-2006 voyage. It may be of interest to have a look at a few statistics of the voyage so far. Since leaving Fremantle on the 6th April, Duyfken has covered 3237 miles to this anchorage, at an average speed of 3.5 knots. We have spent 79% of the time at sea under sail and only 11% under engines. I would like to think that as the voyage goes on we can get that time under power down even more. 34375 people have visited the ship and have had 226 passengers join us for daysails. The third milestone is Hugh, one of the volunteer crew on this leg turned 18 today, few people could have their 18th birthday in such circumstances. We had a good sail along the Illawarra coast, keeping the land close aboard to avoid the worst of the current. Thursday morning found us off the entrance to Jervis Bay, named by Cook in 1770 after Admiral John Jervis, Viscount St Vincent. The northern point of the entrance, Point Perpendicular, Cook described as "white cliffs which rise perpendicular from the sea to a moderate height" Rounding Beecroft Head, we kept inshore of the Sir John Young Banks - deep enough not to be a danger to us except for the sea that occasionally breaks over them. Standing north again, past the entrance to the Shoalhaven River (described by Bass on his 1797 whaleboat voyage "the entrance is mostly choked up by sand and the inner part with banks of sand and mud") and the coastal towns of Gerringong and Kiama. We passed a southern right whale basking on the surface, blowing easily and seemingly in no hurry to go anywhere as we sped by in the fresh southerly breeze. I have to admit that I now had a personal reason for keeping well inshore. Some of my family were keen to see us sail past and had passed the word through the community that we were on our way north. I could see people manning the headland as we swept around Bass Point and stood in towards Barrack Point. In the flat water under the lee of Bass Point, Duyfken, still under full topsails, put her shoulder down as we braced up and produced some exhilarating sailing as we stood in. Up on Barrack Point, as we squared in and stood offshore again, I could see the team up there, my nephews waving flags as I dipped the big Australian ensign to them. I know Mum, (80 this year - another one of those milestones) was excited and proud to see us go past, she has always encouraged my seagoing career so it was great to be able to bring the ship in for her to see us under sail. Across the the 5 Islands off Port Kembla, up through the group and in under the Wollongong light, where a photographer mate, Peter Andrews, got some shots of us in the last of the evening light. A local newspaper photographer was there as well, a good lead in to our visit here in November. On then through the night up to Sydney and in to our anchorage here in Broken Bay. We now wait for a change in the winds to continue the passage.