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...

Days and Ways to Celebrate
A daily list of mostly obscure holidays and fun ways to celebrate them.
World Sword Swallower's Day
The last Saturday of each February has been World Sword Swallower's Day. Sponsored by Ripley's Believe It or Not, this is the real thing. Sword swallowing at its best. Considering I'm a girl who still gags brushing her teeth, this is so NOT a hobby I'd want to pursue BUT that's just me. I don't recommend trying this at home, but give a look at the website...it's cutting edge.
Tootsie Rolls Birthday
You might try chewing then swallowing a Tootsie Roll while you're learning about sword swallowing.

Portland, Victoria - Waiting, Watching and Sawdust

Portland collage  

We're still in Portland, waiting for a weather window to head west towards Adelaide. The winds in this area have been reasonable, but the winds further to the west have not. We have to wait for them to get in sync and play well together. Perhaps soon?


portland sunrise over the breakwater


In the meantime, we haven't been bored in Portland. The sunrises and sunsets here have been awesome.


portland victoria white kangaroo


Beyond our first foray, we've been in town most everyday and always found something to amuse us. We walked out to the Fauna Park to watch the white kangaroos one day.


portland victoria maritime discovery museum lifeboat


Another day, we visited the Maritime Discovery Museum which houses the famous Portland Lifeboat used in the rescue of passengers from the sinking ship Admella in 1859.


portland victoria maritime discovery museum whale skeleton mc


Also on display is a huge sperm whale skeleton, large enough to walk inside. Gives you a Jonah kind of feeling as you sit inside its ribcage. Both blue whales and southern rights still visit these waters frequently. Whenever one is spotted, they fly a yellow flag outside the Visitor's Center to alert folks to be on the lookout for spouts.


portland victoria cable tram


There's a vintage cable tram with a restored 1886 saloon car that travels a 3.5km route along the coast and harbor. We prefer walking, but we enjoyed watching a little bit of history pass by.


portland victoria roundabout street signs1


There's a charm to this little city … its little alleyways, historic bluestone buildings and street signs at each roundabout in town.


portland victoria outboard cover


I did manage to get the cover and lifting harness made for the new outboard engine and the IRS tax prep work is done. Taxes are much easier now that we're unemployed and don't have much income.


portland victoria sawdust


The only negative thing about Portland ... it's done us dirty. The decks, canvas, the rigging … every surface inside and out is covered in sawdust from the wood chip plant across the bay. A good rainstorm of the non-violent variety would be a blessing.


Days and Ways to Celebrate
A daily list of mostly obscure holidays and fun ways to celebrate them.
International World Thinking Day
Inspired by worldwide Girl Scouts/Girl Guides organizations. This year's dual themes are children's and mother's health.
George Washington's Birthday (2/22/1732)
Really! Eat some cherry pie!
National Margarita Day
End of a busy day celebrating? Relax with this wonderful tequila-based concoction OR enjoy it just as much without the alcohol.