Making our way around Australia and avoiding some rough weather


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Oceans and Seas » Pacific » Coral Sea
November 25th 2016
Published: November 25th 2016
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Greetings! I left you off headed into the Great Barrier reef on our circumnavigation of Australia. Sailing in the GBR was completely different than I had expected. Most of the area is completely non-navigable but other than a few areas that look light green when a reef is just a meter underwater it looks like open ocean. There was an area near Cape York – which is the most northern part of Australia which is so shallow that we slow down to give us some more room between the hull and the sea floor. The reason why this makes any sense is that there is a phenomenon called squat which actually sucks the ship closer to the bottom when you go fast in shallow water. After a couple hours of only 3-5 meters under the keel we were into the Indian Ocean.

We called to Darwin – where I got off the ship for a few hours and it was really really hot. Darwin is properly tropical and stinking hot. It was something like 38 degrees and very humid. But I managed to find a beach to have a nap on, and other than some hermit crabs walking on me I didn’t see any signs of the giant salt water crocodiles which inhabit the area.

Departing Darwin we visited a few ports where I did not manage to get off. The first being Bali – which although I had planned on getting off to eat some Nasi Goreng the weather was pretty rainy so having a nap wasn’t a terrible idea. Next we headed back to Australia to Port Hedland, there is pretty much nothing there and it’s actually a huge cargo port. They export something like half a billion tonnes of iron ore every year. Everything is stained red with iron oxide and it’s just a mining town. After that we were headed to Geraldton, it’s another city on the west coast of Australia. By chance a friend of mine from Canada, who I last saw in Copenhagen while I was travelling in 2014 messaged me to ask if my ship was in port that day. Unfortunately for us although there is a few piers none of them are able to fit us. So we just hang around inside the port and use our tenders to get people ashore. This makes it very difficult for us to get ashore as it takes a long time and generally we need more manpower on the tender days.

I did however manage to get off the ship in Perth for a few hours and see a friend. It again wasn’t the greatest of days for weather so we went out for a nice brekky at some beach side restaurant and then just went for a drive and saw a few sights. The port of Perth is called Fremantle and is the biggest livestock exporting port in the world. While we were there a ship was loading sheep and the entire port stank… Apparently it’s a pretty controversial thing and the previous day a ship loaded cows had an escapee and the cow went swimming around the port for a while before going for a walk into the city.

Since then I haven’t managed to get off the ship in Adelaide, Esperance ,or Melbourne. I was hoping to get ahead of some work so I could spend some time off the ship in New Zealand. We left Melbourne headed for the southern island of New Zealand to go and visit the Fiords before making a few more calls and making our way back to Sydney. But the weather had a different idea… There is currently a pretty significant storm in the Tasman sea which would have put 8 meter waves right on the side of the ship. Instead we changed the plan and spent a couple extra days at sea heading north around the storm and going to some unplanned calls in NZ. We don’t get to see the Southern Island but it’s better than going through some brutal weather and a couple extra sea days are a joy for the bridge team. Even yesterday we were rolling pretty often to 4 degrees, and a few times up to 8. At 8 I woke up to things sliding across the desk in my cabin. So that’s where we’re at now – headed to Auckland and Taraunga on the north island of NZ.



Not much to add in the case of photos – but hopefully I’ll have something more interesting to toss up when I post one more blog after I sign off in 3 weeks.

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