Thursday, August 12, 2010

Arrived in Australia.

We arrived at the city of Cairns in the province of Queensland in Australia, from Port Vila in Vanuatu, on August 10th, 2010 after a passage of 1320 nautical miles (2455 Km) that took us 9 days, 5 hours and 15 minutes for an overall average speed of 6.0 knots.
This long passage now displaces our passage from Bora Bora to Samoa, which was 1179 nautical miles long, as the second longest passage in our trip. We had a relatively smooth passage even though we encountered two cold fronts coming from Australia and heading east. The cold fronts bring with them shifting winds and rain but nothing Chocobo couldn’t handle. But more important is that reaching Australia achieves two major milestones for us. The first one is the completion of the Pacific crossing. We started in Panama, at the beginning of March, and travelled through 5 countries, Galapagos, French Polynesia, Samoa, Fiji and Vanuatu, covering more than 8810 nautical miles (16387 km), which is one of the longest sections of our circumnavigation. The second milestone is that we reached Australia. To understand this one you have to look at our trip from the perspective of a born Canadian. Since we were little for us Australia represented the other end of the world, this is where they walk with their head upside down and have 4 foot squirrels jumping on their rear legs! Take a terrestrial globe, put one index on Canada, the other one on Australia and you’ll see that they are pretty much opposite. Now if there is some merit in travelling 24 hours by plane in sardine class to reach Australia you can imagine how proud we are now that we covered half the earth on a sailboat, our sailboat! Although technically we haven’t yet reached the furthest point from home in this trip, which is going to be just a few miles off our entry port in Indonesia as soon as we leave Australia but that is just semantic we are at the other end of the world and very proud of it!