South of Sumatra

Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Simon Blundell
Tue 1 Mar 2011 01:22
00:08.093N  098:57.534E
We have been motoring most of today past Nias, one of the larger of the many islands in the chain to the SW of Sumatra.  On fact Indonesia claims to be the largest archipeligo in the world with in excess of 6000 islands with a population of around 200M.  In spite of this we are amazed at the lack of activity on this sied of Sumatra. We have seen less than half a dozen fishing boats in the last three days,  It may be that all the fish are outside the island chain as we certainly haven't caught any,in spite of Al's undoubted ability.
Starting to get into the routine of shipboard life.  Simon (skipper) is training our two Burmese crew with a list of their daily duties. Each day starts with "Sun up, flag up, fishing line out, toast and jam" and ends with "Sun down, flag down, line in, gin and tonic".  They are fabulous workers, repairing and servicing a myriad of equipment, including broken toilet bowls,  In addition they clean the boat, do some of the cooking and all the washing up!  Our routine revolves aroung sailing the boat and standing watch.  Simon oversees all activities and tasks with great diligence and seems to survive on very little sleep.  I share his night watch from midnight to 4.00am and sleep till 9.00 or 10.00am.  But Simon is usually awake and on deck way before I arise.  We prepare most of the meals, help sail the boat (not much of that at the moment), read, chat and play Scrabble.  There is also an entertainment centre with quite a few hundred movies available.
Tonight we were buzzed by a lone dolphin.  First heard it surface for air alongside the cockpit.  It then went forward to play in the bow wave and was clearly visible in the phosphoresence.  In fact it looked like a mass of underwater shooting stars, zooming backwards and forwards across the bow and then swimming directly on front of the bow.  It was so close that I'm sure it was touching the boat with its tail.