G’day mate! Have made it to Oz! But only just. The good news is that my German freighter finally turned up. The bad news is that an hour after sliding away into the murk from New Zealand’s Port of Tauranga, we hit a Force 9 storm. All night and all day and all night again the ship slammed and fell into the scary large potholes of the mountainous seas. My innards turned inside out and upside down. Felt like a dead dog. The Filipino and Kiribati crew were all very lovely and helpful though. They kept trying to get me to drink green tea and eat hard boiled eggs and buns which was not easy as sipping water even made me sick.

Oz Wildlife

Oz Wildlife

Then, no sooner had I got back on my wobbly sea legs than we careered bow-first into a Force 10 nightmare with 50-plus knot winds and 10 metre (30-very-high-feet) waves. The captain looked not a happy man. Nor did anyone else for that matter. The ship bucked and slammed and jammed and jarred into the bottomless troughs and walls of waves and took on a worrying amount of water.

Aussie Lingo

Aussie Lingo

All bilges going full pelt. Hit a massive electrical storm too. Sky exploded. Engine power was cut from 17½ — 20 knots to 6 knots. Just had to try and ride it out. Everything smashing. Everything crashing. Much later and into the clear, the captain told me that had the storm last much longer than the 20 or so hours that it did, we could have rolled, which would have been a bit more excitement than I’d bargained for. I had always wanted to cross the Tasman sea by ship, but I can’t say I’ve ever been that keen that I’ve wanted to swim it.

Skippy

Skippy

At last I landed on my feet in Melbourne, a stone lighter than I had been a week earlier. I can certainly recommend a sea-crossing of the Tasman as a very effective diet, if nothing else.