Noon position: 32 19S 152 44E
The breeze slowly freshened through yesterday afternoon, causing us to progressively reduce sail. First the topsails came down to half hoist, next the mizzen was handed, followed by the foretopsail. Shortly before sunset the spritsail came in - it could have been carried longer but it blocks the sidelights at night. Finally, just on sunset, with the wind now fresh and gusty out of the WNW, the main topsail was handed, leaving us just under fore and mainsails. I was trying to stay under the lee of the land to keep out of the current and to stay in flat water, but the wind did not allow us to lay our course and we set out to seawards. The breeze, gusting up to force 7, was considerably more than was forecast and the coastal reporting stations all were giving very moderate breezes at the same time. Maybe they keep their weather instruments indoors to keep them out of the weather. At times during the night we were getting close to having to shorten sail even further, but the residual n'ly swell was dropping away all of the time and the sea had not yet got up too large, Duyfken was sailing well and now making a better track back in towards the coast. We passed Port Stephens, named by Flinders in 1799, "an inlet that appear'd to me from the masthead to be shelter'd from all winds, after one of the secretaries to the Admiralty" and by first light were off Sugarloaf Point. We continued to stand NNE along the coast, past Cape Hawke, one of Cooks namings in 1770, after Sir Edward Hawke, First Lord of the Admiralty in 1768. With the breeze easing, we were back under full sail soon after breakfast, and bright sunshine giving us the first day in some time that we could call warm. All relative of course, I doubt if anyone was likely to come down with heat stroke. By lunchtime we were just ghosting along in a light westerly, very pleasant but doing nothing for our eta. Our noon position gave us a days run of 99 miles, an average speed of 4.1 knots. With most crew gathered in the sunshine after lunch, a white ketch ranged up alongside to starboard and we quickly recognized a piece of history. It was Gypsy Moth IV, the boat made famous by Sir Francis Chichester when he made his record breaking solo voyage around the world in 1966-67. For many years she has been on display in drydock in Greenwich, alongside the famous clipper ship Cutty Sark, and is currently on another world voyage. Chichester set out to beat the average clipper ship time of 123 days from England to Australia, and made his goal by sailing from Plymouth to Sydney in 107 days. He went on to complete the circumnavigation in 274 sailing days. Despite Gypsy Moth IV's proven sailing ability, we were all quick to notice that she needed her engine going, sails shivering, in order to catch and pass Duyfken. Give me a jacht over a yacht any day.