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Necker Belle

Off, Off and Away

At 1500, 24 November Necker Belle departed Australian shores. Waved off by our families and good friends at Azzura Marine, we pulled out to sea amid low cloud and heavy rain.

Despite the dreary conditions, the mood amongst the delivery crew was buoyant.

We'd all waited a very long time for that moment.

Finally we were able to sail out of Newcastle Harbour and head due east, rather than hug the coastline as we'd done throughout commissioning.

Soon all signs of land disa ppeared and the ocean became our home. What I've found is when you're at sea, despite the expanse of the ocean; your world becomes very small. You start to notice every little change that occurs in the environment: what birds are around, what the swell is doing, what formation the clouds are taking. The weather is constantly monitored and the wind strength is on the tip of every crewmember's tongue.

We've seen dolphins, whales and albatross and many ill-fated flying fish that took flight to avoid a predator, only to end up on our deck.

At night, the expanse of stars paints the sky from horizon to horizon, changed momentarily by a shooting star that leaves a glowing red trail in its wake. I've seen shooting stars on land before, but not like this; it's a sight to behold!

'Til next time,

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