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7 Nov 05

Ozelot off to the land of Oz, 22 40'S, 166 00'E

Peregrinata, Safari, and Scud, at Amedee Light
Peregrinata, Safari, and Scud, at Amedee Light

Dear Friends and Family,

We've really enjoyed New Caledonia, but cyclone season has now officially started so we're off to the land of OZ (OZtralia that is).  Our last week has been a flurry of kid activities as 3 other teen-boats arrived to join us and Scud - Peregrinata with 2, Safari with 3, and Leprechaun with 5(!) bringing the teen total to 11 when our niece Tianna was with us (she flew home on Saturday).  Peregrinata left about 5 hours ahead of us today and Scud will follow tomorrow.

The weather forecast has been fantastic for the last 2 weeks as a weak high pressure system stalled just west of NZ.  This brought settled and constant SE winds all the way from Fiji to Brisbane but we were having too much fun to leave then.  (Besides, Jon would have had a mutiny on his hands).  Now the forecast is only OK (but better than it will be for a while).  That high should move slowly E and another high will fill in behind it.  The only problem will be between these 2 highs, but with luck that shouldn't last for long.

Sailing into yet another beautiful sunset
Sailing into yet another beautiful sunset

OZ has these really weird rules where we have to pay their customs inspectors(!) US$120/hr(!!) while they tell us what food stores we have to throw out - which is just about everything!  The price doubles if we come in on a weekend, which could be a problem as we're having a wonderful sail, scooting along at 7-8 knots with 14 knots of wind from just aft of the beam.  We'll have to slow down if we don't want to pay that overtime...

We have about 750 nautical miles to sail to the North end of Moreton Island, which forms the entrance to the Brisbane area.  We'll actually have to sail about another 50 miles to get to Manly where we have to clear in.

In the meantime, we're doing well.  Sue's making a cheese fondue for dinner (we're trying to eat all of our good food before the OZ officials make us throw it away).  The seas are reasonably calm and Ocelot seems happy as we sail into another beautiful South Pacific sunset.

Fair winds and calm seas -- Jon, Sue and Amanda Hacking

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