Day 5: Wednesday 3rd June 2015
All day Blue Heeler was sailing close reached and carving through the beamy seas in 20+knot winds. It’s not entirely comfortable but with a positive current we’re making steady progress. The cloud is heavy but with little rain. We are on a direct course of 300degrees with 190nm to go at 4pm on Wednesday. We are now sailing at the same latitude north as Australia’s infamous Bass Strait is south. It’s apparent that we are clear of the Gulf Stream as the temperature has dropped dramatically (no more sitting around in undies!). Now is the weather for seaboots, beanies and fleeces. We can’t measure the temperature of the water but there’s no doubt that it’s bloody cold! Temperature inside the saloon is 16degC, so outside where we sit all night must be a chilly 10-12degC – hasn’t been that cold since…Namibia!
Wayne let me catch up on my sleep so I was thankful for that and the cooler weather so I could snuggle up in my blanket. By the time I came on watch later in the evening Blue Heeler was sailing briskly on a broad reach with 30knots from the northeast. Fortunately the wind, as expected, had shifted so we were sailing quite comfortably and not bashing into seas. Although some waves were big enough to knock us around, everything was as good as it could be. The moon, now in his first day of waning, had difficulty penetrating the heavy blanket of cloud and would remain hidden all night.
During all of this I continued to read my current book. Who would’ve thought a book on 1950s midwifery to be so gruesomely interesting? In between catching up on sleep, hanging on while the Atlantic swell knocks us sideways, and dodging flying egg yolks in a rolling galley, I’ve managed to devour the vividly revealing book “Call the Midwife”. It’s about ordinary people with extraordinary hardships in London’s East End in the 1950s, about the struggles of raising a family. Unusual in that the subject is generally taboo and not spoken about so candidly by women of that era. It’s quite remarkable the variety of books we pick up and read along the way. Even those books that may not be the first choice can often be quite enlightening. Now, back to sailing…
Midnight. AIS targets are popping up in New York Harbour 135nm away. A passenger ship “Liberty of the seas” is 55nm to port steaming it’s way to King’s Wharf, while other AIS targets begin to populate the iNavX screen. This passage is exciting, for me at least, as our destination is unlike anywhere we’ve sailed to before. Not only are we in the final stages of a 7500nm crossing of the Atlantic from south to north/east to west, but it’s the highest northern latitude we’ve ever sailed. Sydney and Cape Town were stunning to sail into, but New York is arguably the most iconic city in the western world. To fuel my enthusiasm, over the past few days I’ve been humming Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York New York’ and reciting funny quotes from Seinfeld, along with famous NYC movie lines such as De Niro’s “Are you talkin’ to me?” and so on. It’s been 23 years since we were last in New York City and it’s changed over that time as we all know. I’m also fully aware that the trip isn’t over until we are safe in harbour, so I’ll touch wood and won’t speak anymore about it until we’re there! 7.00am Thursday 4th June – final hours DTG: 95nm
ETA: 10.00pm Meanwhile my family back in Australia are gathering for a fundraiser for Niemans Pick Type C Disease (NPCD) – funds to help my nephews Matthew and Tim, and the Adams family. The evening event will be held at the Axedale Tavern (near Bendigo) on Friday night (5th) with entertainment provided by Melbourne’s favourite pub band ‘Eastwood Ravine’ headed up by no other than another of my talented nephews, Phill Lloyd. It will be a fantastic night (If you’re in the area check it out!). As I sail into New York with Wayne beside me, Matthew and Tim will be with me in my heart – they truly are my inspiration and their positive spirit makes me very proud to be their Aunty.
For those who can support the NPCD Foundation’s ongoing fundraising efforts or want to learn more about this disease please go to http://www.npcd.org or contact me for further information on how you can help.
“Da da dada da…Start spreading the news…” Next stop New York, New York…