Sailing the South China Sea

Fri 3 Feb 2017 10:24
01:19.00s 107:05.6e

All's well, much better than it was! The squalls have finally stopped and we even had some sunshine for a few hours this morning. We're tacking our way North West into 20 knots of North Westerly but we're starting to hope that we've left the worst of the weather and counter currents behind us in the Java Sea.

Such a strange passage this one has been, not just because we don't make a habit of heading out straight into the wind and into stormy weather, but because the seas we've been crossing are so shallow. We're in the deepest bit just now, all of 40m. Most of it has been around 20m and, when you consider that we spent months hoping against hope to find an anchorage that was less than 30m, it seems crazy that we can be over 100 miles from land and still in 30m. As a consequence the sea is milky, closer to shore a milky green, out here definitely blue, but chalky. None of those crystal clear deep blue depths here.

We've not been trying to fish, partly because we've had enough to cope with with the weather, partly because the deep sea fish we're used to catching: mahi mahi, tuna, wahoo, wouldn't be in these shallows, but also because it's hard to believe there's any fish left in these waters as at times it feels like we can hardly move for the fishermen!

Passage Food (Sorry, I forgot the last couple of times)

Day 1 - Supper: nothing. First we were too busy to eat, then we were too tired to eat.

Day 2 - Breakfast: granola, tinned mandarins, yoghurt. Lunch: Nasi goreng with a black bean and aubergine stew; Supper: cup-a-soup and cream crackers.

Day 3 - Breakfast: Lychee and banana smoothie; Lunch: slice of bread with peanut butter and jam. Supper: ham and lentil stew with flat bread.

Day 4 - Breakfast: granola, mandarins, yoghurt. Lunch: tortilla filled with re-fried beans and cheese, with a cucumber, mint and yoghurt salsa. Supper: Bihun goreng with shrimp balls and butter fried greens.

Day 5 - Breakfast: oatmeal and lychees; Lunch: meatloaf, red pepper, tomato and chili salsa, green beans. Supper: gnocchi with parmesan and peas.

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