It takes quite a bit of work to get Pelican1 ready for her migration North. We now have two ship-shape dinghys, newly conditioned ship motor, freezer full of food for the delivery (thanks to Pauleen Harris) and an installment of the Captain's log as we set off!
Dear Friends of Pelican
Sept 5 0700 Pelican departs Bermagui bound for Cape York
It has been some time since I have written a Captains Log. Much water has passed under the bridge deck but Pelican is still sailing. We have been preparing for our annual northern migration, cooking, repairing, cleaning and Pelican is looking great. Happy to be at sea where she belongs. Our crew consists of Bermi regulars Andrew Ford and Dave Hooper, who together with myself form the Pelican band (working title "MacPelican") and James who is trying out as crew. The voyage north is a great opportunity to rehearse the band in preparation for Pelican fund raising gigs scheduled for late November and possibly an opportunity to play with some of the Hope Vale mob.
We have been sheltering from northerly winds for the last 36 hours at Pitwater on the Hawkesbury just north of sydney. This provided an opportunity to catch up with Ini Wijnen who is based there. Ini showed us over his vessel Love of Geia, a 21metre proa which he designed and built himself as an expedition vessel. Ini is currently looking after all the vessels operated by Greenpeace Australia and also works a s a skipper for hire. He has skippered Pelican from time to time most recently as co -skipper with myself on the cetacean survey we did with IFAW west of Kangaroo Island in South Australia in 2013.
Sept 8 0730
The wind has backed from N into the SW and we raise anchor after a relaxing interlude at Pitwater and set a course for Seal Rocks and beyond. If the current foreceast holds up we should be in Cairns in about 7 or 8 days of pleasant running before the wind. We are making good time sitting between 7 and 10 knots most of the time.
As we pass Newcastle we encounter numerous ships waiting at anchor to take on coal bound for india and China. I am reminded of the folly of our country's continuing investment in big coal in the light of climate change. I have been buoyed by the recent and increasing success of the divestment movement aimed at reducing global investment in coal and other fossil fuel industries. Business has been a little slow for Pelican under our current government despite their slogan, "Aust Open for Business". I can only assume that when they say business they mean big business, extractive, exploitative, coal lobby friendly, bankroll any government who will support their interests type of business. Certainly not small business, green business, enviro friendly business, science business, indigenous business, education business, art business or any of the other business that Pelican and her collaborators are involved in. Nevertheless we are still here and currently bound for Cape York to connect with our friends from Hope Vale. We leave the coal carriers in our wake.
Farewell for a while to Mt Gulaga...