South again

Fri 11 Nov 2016 23:34
01:35.6S 128:53.5E

It was hard but we managed to tear ourselves away from Raja Ampat, heading back down across the equator, toasting Neptune with more Bundaberg rum as we went of course. That's the fifth time we've crossed now and we expect to do so again another 3 times before we cross our tracks and complete the circumnavigation.

We'd got a little confused whilst we have been away from civilisation and thought it was a Thursday when we left for Sulawesi. It was a Friday, and as we all know, Friday is not the day to leave for a passage. Sure enough, as soon as we deployed the lightweight 135% genoa, a shackle snapped and sent the removable inner fore stay flying. It was quite exciting having the bottle screw on the end of the broken forestay swinging wildly around the foredeck as the sail flapped and billowed but we got it all down safely. It's when things go wrong that we realise what a big boat Lochmarin is: there are some pretty big forces involved.

Since that little excitement all has been smooth sailing, although most of the time it's been motor sailing. The wind has been around 5 knots, just too little to sail by, but enough to have the engine on low and motor sail. I've even risked whistling in an attempt to conjure up the couple more knots of wind we need to be able to sail.

We've been kept pretty busy dodging fishing boats and cargo ships, some with lights, some without, some with AIS, some without. Yesterday was overcast so for once I wasn't hot almost all of the day! The thin cloud cover gave the lovely not-far-off-full moon a huge halo, taking up a third of the sky, and under this muted moonlight a pod of dolphins passed us by, arching black against the midnight blue sea.

Passage Food

Day 1 - Breakfast: onion, tomato and cheese omelet; Lunch: rice and fish. Well, coconut rice with pumpkin and peas (tinned) with tuna (tinned) with a lemon and pepper dressing to be exact. Supper: chicken, green papaya and coconut soup.

Day 2: Breakfast: banana, raspberry and coconut smoothie, and Navy Biskets (bikpela na strongpela!) with vegemite.

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