Sailing Around The World

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Day 11 Passage To Darwin “Shipt Dead Ahaead!”

It was a very exciting evening last night when I took over watch at midnight from Cary. Cary was have the time of his life traveling 10 to 12 knotes with current racing through the shipping lane. When I came out on deck and looked ahead it was difficult to make out navigational maker lights and the shore lights were lit up like a Christmass tree. So Cary waited for me to get my bearings on were the shipping lane was and the forth coming nav aids. It was funny how Cary put it “its like riding blind on the line”. Its funny because at night you cant really see anything in front of you, you rely on your compass, nav lights, and charts that you have drawn a line to follow. So after Cary went down to sleep I was alone yet again on a beautiful star lit night.

About 30 minutes into my shift I was approaching the Prince Whales shipping channel at the very tip of Queensland Australia Province. The VHF radio erupted into shipping chatter and the one indication of a ship in front of me was a small sailing vessel nothing more. So I continued hugging the far right side of the shipping lane. Then a hale to a sailing vessel sailing south bound please respond. I looked at my compass and I was heading west bound so gave it no thought. Yet again the cargo ship haled and I responded not knowing if I was the sailing vessel or the one a mile in front of me. I was told to pass red to red running lights and continue. At the same time I had the radar running and looking up the channel I could see something that looked like a Island right in my path on the wrong side of the shipping lane. Looking out over the water I could see 3 red lights one blinking, and two sold red. SO I new the blinking had to be a nav aid and the other two had to be ships. Between the radio chatter and the speed at 10 knots the situation was escalating fast so I maintained my course when the cargo ship radio to say they could only see my green running light so a turn 90 degrees straight out of the shipping channel confirming he saw red and then a great big ship appeared out of the dark night and passed us with in a two boat length. The ship was deadhead of us the whole time and he was taking up the entire shipping lane. Then right behind him was another tug boat pushing a barge through the channel which I navigated without a problem because he was on the right side of the shipping lane. Finally after we made it out of the channel and back into the ocean we calmed down and everybody else went back to bed, what a exciting night.

CUrrent Position: 02:39UTC, 10deg 33min South, 140deg 30min East, COG 270degM, SOG 5kts, CLear Skies, Swell <1 meter

Thanks,

Jacques

Day 10 Passage to Darwin

Well we made it through the hole in wall to the Torres Straight. We have begun our weaving around and between rocks, islands,shallow water, and coral reefs that are so close to the shipping channel that you could pee off the deck and hit the beach. We are starting to see shipping traffic and have been contacted by the Australia Coast Guard twice. Once a helicopter flew over and around us, radioed us for our current information which we provided. So far our arrival in Australia waters has been a good experience and we are looking forward to landfall in Darwin on Monday. But for now we are sailing through a narrow shipping channel littered with obstacles so night sailing will be much more exciting to do. Most of all after not seeing land for 9 days I woke today to see a island covered with trees and we all have become much happier to finally see real progress.

Current Position: 06:25UTC, 10deg 21.9min South,142deg 42.3min East, COG 245deg M, SOG 7.1Kts, WS 19kts, Swell >1 meter, Party Cloudy Skies, Air Temp 89deg, Water Temp 93deg

Thank You,

Jacques

Day 9 Passage to Darwin FISH ON!

Today was another exciting day of reading and catching a huge fish for Cary. To back up a bit I left my hand line out over night to see if I could land a fish during the night or see if I could catch something weird. When I checked the line that is made of 1000 lbs strength para cord tied to a steel cable I thought I would not lose anything. The steel 1500lbs cable with lure attached had been bitten off during the night by something. Anyway this afternoon Cary grabbed the reel and hooked into a huge Mahi Mahi. Cary battled the fish for about a hour and finally got it close enough to the boat for me to gaff and kill it. It weighted in at 30.1 lbs and was about 4 feet long. Not bad for a days work out on the blue ocean, the freezer is full.

Thank You,

Jacques

Curret Position: 5:33UTC, 9deg 38.7min South, 144deg 38.5min East, COG 318degM, SOG 7kts, Current 1.5kts, Cloudy Sky, Swell <1meter

Day 9 Hit a Whale OOOpss

Late in the morning day Cary was on watch and we were sitting in the cockpit looking out over the ocean. Dragonsbane as normal was rolling back and forth in the ocean swell when something odd happened. I realized that Cary is one attractive guy, he hits fucken everything logs, cocnuts, WHALES! We both heard a loud thud and the front of Dragonsbane shift as if it was hit by a large wave witch we thought had happened. But I was thinking that it was a very odd sound to make and then we saw a whale. I jumped up looked off our port stern and saw what looked like a Sperm Whale blow air out. Then right behind us was a huge bloom of brown, black, and yellow matter that looked like the whale crapped his own pants. Then I saw the whale go down again and disappear. I quickly went below to do a inspection of the forward bow area to see if there had been any damage or water coming through. My dad had been laying in the front bow bunk and said that was a really loud wave. I said we hit a WHALE,MAN! He then checked the hull too but we found nothing. Based on the depth of the whale and impact I believe that it glanced off our port bow right below the water line and doing so crapped his pants in shock of hitting something in the middle of the ocean. I think we shocked the whale just as much as we were and he looked to be in good condition just a bit shocked. Besides hitting a whale all is well onboard and we are 50 nautical miles from starting our entrance into the Torres Straight. We will be entering the hole in the wall of the great barrier reef around 2am or 3am and then the fun begins. We will be on the look out for reefs, rocks, ships, whales, and logs for the next 1000 nautical miles. I am kind of excited to just see spits of land here and there as the only closest thing to land we have seen in the last 9 days is a cargo ship.

What a Smile!

Thanks,

Jacques

Current Position: 06:03UTC, 10deg 50.9min South, 146deg 13.3min East, COG 280degM, SOG 7.1kts. Swell 1-2meters, Air Temp 95deg F, Water temp 92degF, Cloudy Skies, One Whale

Day 8 Passage to Darwin Aus

The wind has eased up for us and is now down to 15 knots or less and the swells are 1 meter or less. We still have the problem of pitch poling back and fourth which is so frustrating when cooking or moving about the boat. Tried fishing today but only had a small bit with no fish to show for it. We also ran the water maker and made some fresh water. Sense we made more fresh water we all took a long salt water bath and then washed down with fresh water. Finished another book called the Unbroken and it was a great read. Anyway all is well onboard. 1,212 nautical miles to go!

smile, SMILE!

Thanks,

Jacques

Current Position: UTC 04:48, 11deg 35.8min South 148deg 37.9min East, SOG 5kts, COG 280degM, WS 15kts, Swell>1meter, Cloudy sky with a few squalls around us, Air Temp 95degF, Water Temp 92.1deg F

Day 7 Passage to Darwin AUS

Not to much to talk about today other then making 150 nautical mile days will put us in Darwin in 9 more days. We 1326 nautical miles to go and the ocean is still lumpy and bumpy as we rock are way across the Coral Sea. Last night around 3am we crossed paths with two cargo ship heading Australia. We were hailed from the first ship then sail behind it and then we hailed the second ship and sail in front of it. It was kind of cool to thread the needle we out here in the middle of the ocean.

On a cooking note I baked a loaf of bread and made pizza for dinner. I have not tried ether so who knows if its going to taste good. It also seems that my computer is starting to do all kinds of odd things so I hope its not going to crash on me, knock on wood. The ocean loves to eat electronics even if you keep them dry the salt in the air just eats them. The salt air also eats your cloths as I am finding out in the last few month. Most of my cloth are so bleached by sun and salt I can see through them. I know when I get home I think I will burn all my sailing cloths or maybe they will just desegregate into thin air.

Current Position: UTC05:49 12deg 12.1min South, 150deg 49.9 min East,COG 276degM, SOG 6.5kts, Swell 2 meters, Cloudy with chance of Squalls, Air temp DAM HOT!

Thanks,

Jacques

Day 6 Passage to Darwin AUS

We had a bit of a scare today when Cary was on shift. My dad and I were down below reading our books when a loud bang, thud, bang, bang, boom was heard under the hull of Dragonsbane. I jumped out of my bunk and went top side to see a large log float away from our starboard side. My dad and I went below to look for any signs of sea water or cracks in the hull. We found nothing and I went top side and looked down the hull and saw nothing. The incident did allow us to discover that our main bilge pump float switch is faulted and the bilge was full of sea water. I turn on the manual switch and the bilge emptied out the water. We now keep an eye on our bilge and run the bilge pump every few hours to make sure its clear. Looks like something else to fix when we get to Darwin.

This evening as we ate our dinner in the cockpit together a bird tried many time to land on our radar tower but came more close to the spinning wind generator. I turned the wind generator off a few times because I was worried he would hit the thing and blow it up sending bird guts everywhere. After many tries the bird finally flew away or at least I think it did.
We have 1500 nautical miles to go and the sea is not making one mile easy on us to date. We still are rolling, pitch poling, getting sprayed by waves, and now the closer we get to the Torres debris in the water is becoming very common. I saw a nice looking flip flop floating, coconuts, and two more logs. Looking ahead at the Indian Ocean I am thinking it will be much long then I have in mind.

Just Smile and Keep ON.

Thanks,
Jacques

Current Position: 12deg 50.1min South, 153deg 19.6min East, COG 289M, SOG 6kts, Swell 3 meters, WS 30kts, Cloudy Skies, Air Temp HOT

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