2nd day now behind us...continues FAST but much more comfortable
A very positive update from our "neck of the oceans". After about 20 hours
of heavy stuff (described in yesterday's blog entry), we now have had the
last 20 hours with winds around 25 kts and trending downwards...still nicely
on the beam! .....and the swells have mostly dropped to 3 meters and
sometimes less ...also still on the beam so all livable.
The change brought on appetites and the food stores took a good kicking
yesterday and so far today.....so, Australian Quarantine guys > you aren't
going to pillage us when we arrive as badly as you might have thought when
you sent these sea conditions our way......and VERY IMPORTANT > taking
showers is again possible...albeit a struggle!
The constancy of the wind direction and strength has meant that it has been
totally non-demanding in managing sails....we set the 2 sails with triple
reefs in both not long after leaving Luganville and we have not had to touch
them again...the boat is clearly on its own in every way..it really hasn't
needed a human to be on-board. But for those of you thinking that I would
find that boring....(you know, not having to be constantly tweaking sail
trim)..not a chance of boredom at all....when the sails are performing, I
have no need to be doing anything...and happy with laying back and letting
mother nature and Sea Mist battle it together.
Not much else to say: we can report a little drop in sea temperature > it
was about 87 F in Luganville.....now we are at 26.8 C ( 80.3 F) and it is a
welcome, noticeable cooling effect....definitely overnite....and even in the
daytime, penetrating, sun-drenched heat that prevails here in the tropics.
There were mostly clouds yesterday which helped but it looks like only blue
sky today so it will be a scorcher until the sun prepares to set after 5 pm.
Now experiencing some ocean traffic in our vicinity: about midnight last
night a Russian Cargo Ship passed about 18 nm distant across our bow enroute
from China to New Zealand> Then during this morning, we have had 5 medium
big cargo ships (they ranged from 165 - 200 Meters in length and were
making 10 - 15 kts of speed) all crossing us within about 15 nm: 1) the
Super Adventure enroute Northwest to Lombgshan (where??- perhaps China) from
NZ; 2) the Pacific Adventure enroute to Noumea, New Caledonia from China; 3)
the Nalanee Naree heading southeast (same as the Pacific Navigator) to
Napier; 4) - the Hope Star, headed northwest, like Super Adventure, bound
for Zhangzhou (China??); and finally, 5) no name noted as it was just a bit
too distant off our stern for the AIS complete info to come up for it. It
was interesting to note that the Super Adventure and the Nalinee Naree met
each other on opposite headings at only 1.4 nm of separation....usually 1
-1.5 is their minimums for meeting...and here in this huge ocean, they end
up meeting that closely.
My AIS (Automatic Identification System)overlay on my navigation display is
lit up with commercial traffic the likes of which we have not seen since
Panama. There is an "obvious" shipping channel running between the 2 reef
formations that I mentioned in yesterday's blog ....the Huon Atoll behind us
....and Chesterfield/Bellona Reefs in front of us. I only spoke with Super
Adventure...I chatted for a bit with the captain to see what he had by way
of weather information...particularly regarding forecast for the
swell....his input was positive news. I will be getting new weather
information now when I send this blog entry as I have to open the sat phone
connection anyway for receiving and sending emails so I will do the weather
update request at same time.....that is the "routine".
Our updated ETA to Bundaberg sees us there on Monday morning, Oct 24th. On
this side of the dateline, it is now coming on Friday noon.
DTG 590 nm