But today, the dawn light is just creeping over the eastern horizon as we pass Ninth Island close on the northern coast of Tasmania, the seas are flat, the winds are calm, the stars are still shining brightly as they have all night showing us the final way home to my country and home.
We all could not have had a more enjoyable and relaxing "Second Half" to the crossing from New Zealand, the first 675 nautical miles were a tad on the demanding side and a reminder of what heavy weather sailing is all about.
The second half has been a joy, the type of ocean travel that you dream about, and which reminds us why we come out into the seas to visit distant lands, over come adversities and test ourselves, just for these delicious magical moments.
We have 26 nautical miles to travel until we enter the river system of the Tamar, this leads to Launceston, but more importantly to Beauty Point, my loved home and place where I have some of my best friends.
We left Punta Arenas in Chile on the 16th of April and we arrive here on the 2nd of July, just over 9,200 nautical miles, and once again in true Xplore style these miles have been filled with adventure and challenges.
As Skipper I have tried to always write about where we have been going, whats been happening so that readers of these blogs can briefly transport themselves into our very different world in the extreme and remote parts of the world that can only be visited by sea.
My greatest thanks though, and thanks that can never be said enough goes to my crew, Audrey first mate, Julie and all the other fine people who have helped me sail Xplore in such a professional manner which has safely delivered everyone to their dreams and back again.
This winter Xplore will remain in Tasmania for a well earnt break and some normal maintenance, and after that only god knows ?
Stephen Wilkins A proud skipper, and a happy Australian