Sun 5 Feb 2017 04:48
0021:37N 104:45.1E

There's a lightness aboard this morning. We're back in the Northern Hemisphere, the winds have settled down to steady Northerlies, the seas have calmed, the squalls have receded to the world of bad dreams and we have finally been able to set our course a little away from the wind, easing the sheets, letting Lochmarin sprint along at an easy 6 knots instead of struggling to get 2 or 3. We did it: we've crossed the South China Sea.

Now that the skies have cleared our night watches have been filled with the stars once again. The Southern Cross still dominates the sky behind and Orion still strides across the zenith, from East to West, shooting his arrows at Pleiades, but before the dawn the sky ahead of us is filled by Ursa Major, however you know him: The Great Bear, The Plough or The Big Dipper. When I was a kid I thought a big dipper was a kind of roller coaster, it took Laura Ingalls Wilder to educate me otherwise. Well this dipper would be no good as it's facing down, pouring its contents towards the Pole Star that I know is down there, below the horizon still. As we head North along Malaysia's coast we'll get to see it, along with the rest of the familiar Northern Hemisphere stars on their nightly whirl around it. It's good to see old friends.

No wonder we're upbeat, we've still got over 100 miles to go, navigating our way through current filled channels between the islands and crossing the busiest shipping lanes in the world as we skirt Singapore. Should be a doddle.

Passage Food

Day 6 - Breakfast: weetbix with canned peaches. Lunch: Nasi goreng with pilchards and a salad of christophene, cucumber and tomato. Supper: a can of Watties Pepper Steak chunky soup from New Zealand. It tasted exactly like the Jester pepper steak pies we used to stop and get in Wellsford when ever we were driving up and down from Northland to Auckland.

Day 7 - Breakfast: egg and not actually bacon (a sort of bacon tasting luncheon meat we bought in the deli on Lombok) sandwich.

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