Plan B

Sun 22 Nov 2015 00:43
We’ve changed our minds. It took over a week for the anchor windlass solenoid to arrive and whilst we waited we got to thinking. The days are ticking by. Pilot guides say Cyclone Season starts on the 1st November, New Zealanders say 1st of December, either way it’s either here or very close. In order to be safe we’d have to shoot up through the Solomons as quickly as we possibly could - not exactly conducive to interacting with the local people and enjoying beautiful anchorages. But what then, when we got up above the cyclone area? It’s monsoon time soon. That means hot humid weather, thunderstorms, no wind and a knot and a half of current against us as we go up around the North of Papua New Guinea. Sounds like lots of motoring. We realised we’ve lost too much time, it doesn’t make sense any more to push on so Plan B was hatched.

We considered staying here in Vanuatu but there are reasons why we can’t. There’s due to be plenty of cyclones this season, they estimate 6-10 for Vanuatu. El Nino this year means folk think they’ll not be as strong as Pam this year, but slower moving so causing quite as much damage. To be safe Lochmarin would need to be strapped down in a frame on the hard, but the only travel lift here isn’t big enough for her. It’s a no go to wait out the season here.

So where to go? We can’t go North, we can’t stay here, East seems rather the wrong direction… so West it is. We’ve decided to drop South and West to Australia for a few months, leaving as soon as the Cyclone Season ends (probably April) to head back up to the Solomons.

So, a 1000 nm ocean passage then a new continent to explore. We’ll get to see a duck-billed-platypus!