Tuesday, 11th August, 2015

Luna Quest
W. Eric Faber
Tue 11 Aug 2015 02:19
Noon Position: 17.28S 146.14E

Daily logged run: 297 since Sunday noon

Apologies for omitting the noon position and logged run yesterday.

During my watch last night in the early hours of the morning on a dead flat sea with not a puff of air rippling the water, I watched the gyrations of a fishing boat fine on our port side. I thought about waking Julia to watch the spectacle, but as she had been on watch till 0100am, I left her asleep. We were motoring in the shipping channel (so marked on the chart in the Great Barrier Reef marine park) with very little commercial shipping, making about 5.5 knots towards Cairns, where we shall stop for fuel and provisioning before heading out for Darwin some 1200 miles from Cairns. The fishing boat was strongly lit with a cable extending very tautly at 45 degrees into the water. At first the fishing vessel moved further to port giving me the impression that it could have seen LUNA QUEST and giving us more sea room, when suddenly it turned 180 degrees in the opposite direction to cross the shipping channel. As she was so strongly lit up, I considered that the men on board her might not have been able to see our little tricolour light at the top of the mast. I put every deck light on I could and tried to call him on the radio without success. A collision appeared almost unavoidable. I took all speed off LUNA QUEST and watched the fishing boat cross our bows with two men on deck seemingly unaware of our presence. As soon as the danger had passed, I went back to 1600 revolutions to regain our 5.5 knots of speed.

The lack of wind is persisting. The sea is flat calm, the sun high in the sky and Australia on our port side showing a little cloud cover near the coast. We estimate our arrival in Cairns tonight at around 10pm.