No Wind, Slow Progress
Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Tue 12 Jun 2012 05:57
Three days into our 1200nm passage and there's been literally no wind since we crossed the Line on the first day.
Shortly after leaving Nias Hbr we got hit by squall after squall, gusting to 25kn but from aft a-beam so with just the jib and mizzen we barralled along at 8-10kn for several hours. As we approached the Equator the storms started to loose their puff, then dissipated completely about 5nm N of the Line. There has been less than 3kn of wind since then, so slow motoring with just one engine ticking over at just above idle speed giving us a 4.5kn average since we've been in the Sthn Hemisphere.
110nm per day is well below our typical passage rate of 160-180nm per 24hrs, but unfortunately we do not have enough fuel to motor at normal speed for 1200 miles. As we were expecting nice trade wind sailing, and every Indo local so far has wanted to rip us off with fuel, I punted (which should've been a sure bet at this time of year) on the trades to get us to Bali. Actually expecting the fuel to run out at any time now, we've decided not to check the levels as there's nothing to be done for it. We have 300 ltrs reserve - more than enough to keep up the battery bank charge with the generator for a couple of weeks at sea, and for the final motor up Lombok Straight to Gili Trawangan (or more likely Gili Gede).
Anyway... for the first time I can remember we do not have a tight schedule on this trip so no real problem if we find ourselves bobbing around for a few days on this oceanic millpond waiting for wind...
On the plus side we did catch a few tuna the day after leaving Nias. The first flicked off the lure before we got him to the boat, the second was small and went back until he sized up, the last, caught just after sunset, was a decent size and produced 4 good sized fillets for our fish and chip breakfast the next morning.
So, with the ocean completely flat, and glassy smooth for the last 300nm Zac and I are getting into a routine for what might be a long time at sea, sanding and varnishing, odd jobs and minor repairs, watching movies, sleeping and eating.
1000nm to go, but Christmas Island is only 500nm away and only a minor detour off our rhumbline, so as much as I'm reluctant to pay Australian prices for fuel (compared with 55 c/l in Indo), we may be forced to touch down on home soil briefly en route to find a gas station. There is also the sexy Immigration Officer I met there last year as an extra incentive for the detour!