Monday, 14th September, 2015

Luna Quest
W. Eric Faber
Mon 14 Sep 2015 04:22
Noon Position:

Daily run:

We weighed anchor yesterday at 8am to get to the start line for 9am. In the event the start was delayed by 20 minutes as the committee boat had difficulty getting anchored. The day looked promising without a cloud in the sky and a gentle breeze from the South. The start line was at the top end of the Lombok Strait where fierce tidal streams dominate. The timing was such that we could expect the tide to take us out into the ocean. All the boats were pushed out within an hour and Luna Quest experienced over 8 knots of speed. But the water was extremely turbulent with the ocean swell being concertinaed into the Strait while the tide was trying to get out. The confused seas were so tumultuous that one particularly steep wave caused Luna Quest to nosedive and stop her dead shipping a bucketful of seawater through an open window. Julia, unfortunately, could not witness any of these extraordinary phenomena as she was laid low with suspected food poisoning. Outside in the ocean, the current fought fierce battle with the tide giving rise to massive tidal rips and steep overfalls of a meter high. The boats were just pushed along by the current and making barely 3 knots against the tide.

Last night the wind fell away to a light air leaving a violently confused sea and much sail banging. Despite the engine pushing the boat at 5 knots on its intended heading of 260 degrees, the strong currents took Luna Quest at 220 degrees over the ground! Today there is still no wind, but the sea’s aggressive confusion has diminished considerably. Little wind is forecast for the next few days. The distance to X’mas Island is about 650 miles, about the length of Java that we are keeping to starboard, and if the wind does not return, we might just make it on the diesel we have in the tank and 6 jerrycans (having given two away in Lombok to a fellow participant sailor). Julia is much better today and the colour has returned to her cheeks.