Passage to Christmas Island Day 7
We continue to sail averaging 150 nautical miles in 24 hours. The crew seems to be adjusting well to the passage and everybody is beginning to find there roles and learning more about trimming the sails on Dragonsbane. Shifts are 3 hours and leaves lots of time for reading, day dreaming, and of course fixing stuff. The ocean still gives us surprises but mostly shooting stars at night and ships during the day continue to pass us close but it must just be the area of the ocean.
We are about half way to Christmas Island this morning and have about 745 nautical miles remaining. I am not so sure about the anchorage we will have to be in because there is no real protection from swell or wind from the north to west. Hopefully the wind continues to come from the east south east so we can have a few days rest before moving on. More things to weigh on my mind as we get closer to Christmas Island.
Current position: 21:29UTC, 11deg 46.7min South, 118deg 27.7 East, COG 285deg-M, SOG 6.6kts, WS 12kts, WD 90deg, Swell 1 meter, Clear Skies
Passage to Christmas Island Day 6
Well we had a great meal cooked by Jade last night. She cooked up fish cakes and they were great. As for the rest of the crew we got caught up in a little nervous boat shadowing. At roughly 16:30 a junk fishing boat approached us from our beam and then turned to our course and shadowed us for about a hour before turning off. Made me a bit jumpy seeing this type of boat following us in such a close range for so long. But after I could finally see the starboard side of the ship it was clear they were dragging fish nets and I am guessing they were trying to maneuver around us. Anyway all is well and looking forward to another fun day of sailing.
Current Position: 11deg 58.7min South, 121deg 18.3min East, UTC 17:58, COG 260, SOG 6kts, Swell 1 meter, Sunny clear skies.
Passage to Christmas Island Day 5
It was a busy day that started out with a few problems. I wanted to run our fresh water maker but it kept popping the breaker. After I tested the breaker and checked the continuity of the wire it looked to be in good shape. I then checked our new raw water boost pump that my dad had installed in New Zealand. I discovered that the raw water pump electric motor housing seal must have leaked in saltwater and rusted out the electrical and motor components of the pump. In a nut shell the new raw water pump was toast. I then found our old boost pump that works only when the diesel engine is not running and reinstalled it along with new wiring. The good news is that I was able to get the whole system back on line and made 13 gallons of fresh water. My new game plan is to run the water maker for a hour each day using solar power as my energy source during high noon.
To add to the day of issues we have been fishing each day with no real results. The day began with a small tuna but not big enough to keep according to my friend Jade, I only saw sushi. Later that day as I was head deep in the bilges of Dragonsbane yelling at the water maker we caught a tuna that ripped out the fishing line but then we lost it. Found out that the double hook I put on was not wire tied together and the tuna bumped the hook off the line, very frustrating. But the good news is that in the afternoon we hooked into a Indo-Pacific Dog Tooth Tuna that Cary reeled in and filleted it up for the team. I cooked it up using our Kiwi Alice friends recipe of FEB fish, “Flour, Egg, and then the Bread Crumbs” pan fried with potato’s on the side. It was a tasty fish with lots more to come being a 4 foot 20lbe tuna.
We also had a full day of wind shifts and sail changes that Ben spear headed with Cary, Sarah, and Jade. Changes many times from spinnaker, to jib, jib on a pole, main to spinnaker and so on. We also passed a drilling platform and Ben had a VHF radio conversation with a nice Irish man. All in all it started out bad but turned into a good day A!
Current Position: UTC 18:10, 11deg 55.7min South, 123deg 42.6min East, COG 310deg-M, SOG 5kts, WS 12.5kts, WD 45deg, Swell >1meter, Sunny clear skies
Passage to Christmas Island Day 4
After a day of clocking wind from 180deg South to 0deg North settling down at 45deg North East we sail down wind. Now we are listening to Carmon Act 1 of the opera to enjoy the evening sunset. As we sail into the star lit night smells of fresh bread made by Ben and chocolate chip cookies prepared by Sarah intensify the emotion to the sea passage. I hope for continued god weather but this evening a low cloudy sky is stocking us across the Torras Straight. What will the night hold, we will see.
During the night the wind once again fell off to 2 knots and we are motoring inching our way north west to area of wind. I download some weather gribs this evening and looks like a trough of wind lays north of our position so we will try for that and hopefully find some wind.
Current Position: 12deg 03.3min South, 125deg 58.8 min East, UTC17:54, COG 270deg, SOG 5.9kts, Motoring, Clear skies
Passage to Christmas Island Day 3
Once again the wind at night dropped off to less then 5 knots and we in response sailed at 2 knots. It made for great sleeping but not so great for distance over ground. At 3:15 we turned the engine on and motor sailed till 9am as the morning wind filled in at 15 knots. We are currently sailing at 8 Knots making up for a very slow night and evening. We are hoping to maintain our current speed and wind for the next 140 nautical mile to get out of the shadow of Australia were the wind is organized and steady.
Current Position: 12deg 05.5min South, 127deg 44.8min East, UTC20:51, COG 269, SOG 7.7kts, WS 15kts, WD 180deg, swell <1 meter, Sunny and Clear, 80deg F, Water Temp 90.7deg F
Passsage to Christmas Island Day 1
Currently sailing at a blistering 3 knots against a 1 knot current. Our wind has been increasing to 20 knots but slowly decreases to 5 knots through out the day. It has been a real challenge with wind direction and wind speed. We continue to make sail changes every few hours to keep us going. Once again we have seen three sea snakes and like always I still hate snakes, we saw a turtle. The crew is coming along and learning more about Dragonsbane everyday.
Current Position: 12deg 12.6min South, 128deg 52.1min East, UTC06:02, COG 269deg, SOG 3.4kts, WS 8kts, WD 180deg, Swell <1 meter, Sunny, Air Temp 83deg F, Water Temp 90deg F
Off to Christmas Island
Well off on another passage from Darwin Australia to Christmas Island. It’s also the beginning of the Indian Ocean Crossing. I have a full crew now including myself Cary, Ben, Jade, and Sarah. It should make the long passages much easier and fun with a boat full of loony toons. I will as always post everyday our Lat and Long as we sail for the next 12 Days.
I am Back to Blogging!
To help us transition back into new blogging post I have posted within a few photos of the past three weeks of my small adventures in Australia. I ended up flying from Darwin to Brisbane, to Sydney, then back to Brisbane to hangout with some new and old friends. I have enjoyed my time in Australia and have a new appreciation for its grand size and realize that there is nothing between coastal cities but rocks and sand mostly. My only real disappointment was how extremely expensive everything cost. For example a 6 pack of domestic beer is average $20 dollars and food if eating out at a average establishment would coast between $15 to $20 which is mostly À la carte. Besides the expense it has a lot of great people and travelers that adventure here everyday and that was fun to meet them.