Heading to Adelaide, South Australia

portland to adelaide at first light  

Our three day passage from Portland, Victoria to Adelaide, South Australia began at first light. We received a great send-off from the local gulls and terns who had evidently started partying in earnest, but very quietly, during the night without us.


portland to adelaide poop deck


Those loose-boweled, foulest of fowls, had covered the aft deck, bimini and dodger with plops of brown bird poop. Perhaps with all the Portland sawdust on deck, they'd mistaken it for a litter box? It is aptly referred to as the poop deck now.

No sooner were we out of Portland's breakwater than the dolphins appeared. Little guys, not much more than a meter long, were jumping, surfing the waves and watching the crew of Nine of Cups heave over the side rails. We'd left our sea legs behind the breakwater. We were both seasick for the day and miserable, despite the dolphins' efforts to cheer us up. “Oh look, David (heave, heave)...another dolphin.” “Yeah, they're (heave, heave) little guys, huh?” (Note to self: do a blog post on seasickness some time...but not now!)


portland to adelaide australasian gannet


As we got further offshore, golden-headed gannets, albatross and sooty shearwaters took over their watch as the guidance committee. They thankfully didn't feel the need to evacuate on our deck.

The swells were big and the ride continued to be rocky. Cooking on the first day included opening up a package of plain water crackers and even that seemed like a major effort. Day 2 and we were ready for something for breakfast...a hot meal. Scrambled eggs and toast seemed easy and bland enough, but remember Nine of Cups Rule #1...Nothing's ever easy on a boat … especially when it's rocking and lurching gunwale to gunwale.

I managed to get four eggs out of the fridge. They sit nicely on the grate of the gimballed stovetop. I cracked them one-handed (always one hand for the chore and one for the boat) and carefully ignored the shell bits that were in the bowl. I beat the eggs till frothy, but lighting the stove burner is a two-handed job. A lull in the boat movement and I was suckered into setting the bowl of eggs on the non-skid counter. In a nanosecond, the four beaten eggs had escaped the bowl and were all over the counter, oozing down the front of the drawers and puddling in yellow gelatinous pool of slime at and on my feet. I cursed, I yelled, I stomped my feet … then cleaned it all up and started over again. Neptune does not suffer theatrics.

More tomorrow...

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