Well, what can I say except this is certainly the adventure of a lifetime. It started from Cairns and within 15 minutes the seasickness had kicked in, 24 hours later all was good and the journey really began for myself.
Let's start with the crew, what a great group of individuals that now present as a well-oiled team, especially when it comes to the cooking and cleaning duties. As far as sailing the boat, we are very much at the reliance of the skipper and professional permanent team consisting of Kristian, Bo and now Mikkel as well. These guys have been so patient with teaching us what and when to do things above deck.
The team is made up of six of us: Bente (Denmark) the bronze goddess, Tini (Belgium) Queen of hats, Cindy (US) the hygiene Queen with SPF 275 sunscreen, Andy (Tasmania Aus) he's our wise level headed coordinator who keeps us all in line and is our fountain of knowledge, Brenden (WA Aus) typical Ozzie who managed to have the TV changed to AFL when all the locals in the pub on Thursday Island wanted to watch the Rugby League, and myself Vince (VIC Aus) the modest one who keeps the team on an even keel, all with many things in common along with having MS. Humour is infectious and everyday is a good one amongst these extra special people. Every situation has a humorous side and all are feeding and contributing to the fun.
From Cairns we headed up the East Coast of Australia with a strong tail wind that enabled good speed. The sea had moderate swells that made us all feel slightly uncomfortable but this soon subsided. The journey up the Reef was incredibly beautiful with many uninhabited Islands and a mainland with no signs of life – we are feeling like the first explorers in this area.
After three days of continuous day/night sailing we stopped in the shelter of a small island and dropped anchor for the night. Weipa was our original midway destination, but this was changed to Thursday Island. In the morning we set off on the three hour sailing trip to the most beautiful Island so far that is Thursday Island with the first signs of significant inhabitance this far.
Everyone was ready and happy to hit land as it was our first chance for a shower… and a beer!!! The locals were incredibly friendly and helped in anyway they could. Thursday Island is an oasis not far off the coast of Cape York and provided us with a full stomach, a replenishment of provisions, a good wash/swim and time to generally get the boat ready for the four-five day non-stop sail across the Gulf of Carpentaria.
We left Thursday Island at 9am this morning with light tail winds and a very calm ocean and are now sailing at a leisurely 7 knots. The sun is shinning and is very strong, which has proved a challenge for most of the team especially as the wind is light.
Brenden is the nominated fisherman (although I think he was self-nominated) to catch dinner tonight and all are incredibly happy and grateful to be on this boat in this part of the world.
LIFE IS GREAT!!!