“And there’s Whale Song – she’s on the home stretch!” (Written on Mar 11, 2013)
“Ahh, that isn’t in my dream…” that’s Resty knocking twice… “Get up girl!” I say and heave myself out of my sleep. Our midnight position is 21 nm ESE of Point D’Entrecasteaux and the next coastal town of Augusta at Cape Leeuwin is 43 nm to the NNW. As we travel we have two ships on our port quarter, one transiting to Indonesia and the other to Singapore. By 0110 we are 38 nm SW of Pemberton with our course of 309 degrees taking us steadily towards Augusta. The lighthouse flashes and in the semi-darkness I can hear the chatter/bicker of two crested terns. In the low light conditions, but in the lume of our white masthead light, I can see their white wings fluttering as they fly quickly, twisting and turning while making their distinctive crested tern ruckus! We are not totally alone out here!
At 0230 am we are soon to turn to the north and according to the chart we have entered the Indian Ocean. The movement of the waves feels different. Just before 0300our position is 22 nm south of Cape Leeuwin – we really are on the home stretch! Looking at the chart at 0750 am in the morning Margaret River is to our east, where Tas is currently on a school camp! I send hellos across the water in her general direction! I can’t wait to see our girls. We’ll see Tas on Friday and Micah tomorrow, Tuesday, it is hard to wait!! Yahoo!! Can’t wait for hugs and kisses with our gorgeous girls!
With rain falling and grey clouds of cumulus and cumulo-nimbus all around, interesting patterns cover the water. The rain falls in sheets of silver greyness, dimpling the water surface. Contrasting markedly, on our starboard side, sunlight bursts through in a wedge of excruciatingly bright light…
Lunch is hot pasta bake of my carbo-high “storm bog” from last evening covered in melted cheese and served with salad and more warmed rustic baguette bread. This is, as usual gobbled down heartily by the troops. We have nicely timed our food supplies, an art necessarily honed over the last couple of decades while supplying wholesome not gourmet food, for lots of people for long times…
We are making steady progress towards home and by 1300 are 18.5 nm NW of Cape Naturaliste, a beautiful part of our states’ south-west corner. The excitement is mounting as people think of seeing family and doing things ashore. Our ETA slides around as we ride and surf the waves but between 1 and 2 am looks good. Most of the afternoon we have 25-30 knots from the south and 3-4 m swell pushing us along nicely. Two pods of bottlenose dolphins, one a group of two and the other five individuals that bow-ride, are entered on CWR Logger as our cetacean sightings on this last day of survey. Farewelled by bottlenose dolphins on January 19, now we also have bottlenose dolphins upon our return on March 11 as our welcoming committee! It’s ok Kate, we have an High Seas Welcoming Committee (HSWC) even in your allowed absence with our inappropriate, wee hour arrival.
We are terribly interested to see where blue whales will be found, are a whole bunch feeding in the Perth Canyon? Have they been waiting for us to return? We can’t wait to get out there very soon and find out. Of course, not before catching up our friends and family too!
For dinner on our last evening underway, Resty deftly prepares tasty meatballs with spicy sauce, baked potatoes, steamed rice and garden salad. We are excited for our Fremantle arrival and since it will be during my watch, the guys kindly let me off and thus I am able to watch a movie, not usually possible when I do my night watch. Inday, Sacha and I have a girls’ movie night watching “My Week with Marilyn”.
Retiring we all say to each other “See you in the morning in Freo!”.
Soon to be home,