Noon Position 25 07S 153 25E
A remarkable sight at first light this morning. With the ship running nicely before a fresh SSE'ly breeze, a big school of large fish were escorting us, swimming close alongside near the surface, close aboard on either side. We were not sure what type they were, but as usual, everyone became a fish expert and it was decided they were Australian salmon. All fish look the same to me, preferably in batter and with chips, so it was a good enough identification for me. They kept pace with us right through the forenoon, a pod of playful dolphins were also about, occasional bursting into the school of fish, no doubt for a feed. We got a lure over the side but the fish were not the slightest bit interested - I was thinking hard about putting a line on the pike and having a go with that, some fresh fish would have been good. I have never seen fish keep pace with a ship like that - were they using us as some sort of shield from the dolphin, curious as to what we were or just by some coincidence we just happened to come across them on some sort of migration. Who knows. We have made good progress since leaving Moreton Bay. We had a slow start after making sail on Wednesday afternoon, bare steerage way in a dying sea breeze. However, things turned in our favour - after dark the SW breeze filled in again enabling us to square away for the main channel. Entering the main channel just on midnight, we kept to the south side to avoid commercial traffic, a number of container ships arriving and departing tonight. The tides were favourable as well, we cleared the main channel just as the ebb began around 0300, although we needed the engines for a 5 minute burst just to clear the turning leads off Cowan Cowan Point to allow a large outbound ship to safely make his turn. A hazard that Willem Janszoon didn't often face I suspect. With the ebb giving us a good lift, we sped up through the NE channel, making about 2 knots through the water but up to 6 knots at times over the ground. Amazingly, we met an inbound yacht under sail at 0500 at NE8 buoy, trying to beat in against wind and tide. Not surprisingly he was standing still and making no ground. Why not do the seamanlike thing and anchor and wait for the flood? - in order to give him searoom I had to edge right across to the edge of the channel, pinching her up to the W'ly breeze - fortunately enough water over on the west side for us. Cleared the channel and Moreton Bay and stood away to the north, breeze backing SW, then S'ly and finally into the SE, sailing large under all square sail. Although the breeze has still got a bite to it, we are gradually leaving winter behind, with the first tentative bare feet and shorts starting to make an appearance as the sun warms us up. Noon yesterday saw us in 26 36S 153 15E, passing Noosa Heads later in the afternoon. The breeze veered back into the SW during the evening and we had a pleasant nights sail under topsails and courses, although lightning to seaward meant that we had to watchful of the weather as always. Some distinctive landmarks along the coast that are part of the seemingly endless list named by Cook in 1770 - left astern is Cape Moreton and Moreton's Bay, named after James, 14th Earl of Moreton and president of the Royal Society 1764; the Glasshouse mountains - "three hills of singular form of elevation"; Double Island Point - "like two small islands lying under the land"; Indian Head - 'a number of the natives were assembled"; Sandy Cape - "two very large patches of sand upon it"; Break Sea Spit - "because now we had smooth water, whereas upon the whole coast the southward of it we had always a high sea or swell". The last two named we should round overnight tonight and then stand down to the WSW toward Bundaberg.