As the folk tune ‘Lime Juice Tub’, sprung from Australia’s early colonisation and pastrol obsession continues …. shearing sheep as big as whales, with leather necks and daggy tails, fleece as tough as rusty nails…. This tune got into my head as we closed the NSW coastline yesterday and wouldn’t leave. Don’t you hate that?
Last evening around 8.30pm we anchored here, finalising our hop across the ‘ditch’ (Bass Strait) from Tasmania. Three days and two nights, rolly and with little wind meant motorsailing the whole time. My newly christened crew ‘enjoying’ her first open sea voyage and night sailing experience with some mixed feelings.
Note from Dini:
A raft of new experiences for me – sailing on the open sea; standing night watch and being in control of the boat without Col’s watchful and very experienced gaze; making a meal in the galley whilst all the ingredients are trying to leave; learning what a lee cloth is for, and the view from the cabin sole when you don’t do it up quickly enough; anchoring at night in an unfamiliar location. Some wonderful sights along the way including phosphorescence in the wake, and pods of dolphins playing in the bow wave.
Along the way we thought to try trolling and less than an hour later Dini landed our first catch, a 10 pound Bonito. As she hauled it out of the sea into the cockpit it freed itself from the hook whereapon it landed and exploded into frenzied activity.
Off watch and asleep below I awoke to the thrashing sound in alarm …. thinking perhaps our prop had thrown a blade or something worse. Instead the hilarious sight of this struggling fish with Dini gamely trying to hold it down and stop its bloodied, scaly way down below greeted me. Too funny.