The Deep.

Noon Position: 05 58.0 S 152 25.3 E
Course: North nor’ east Speed: 1 knots
Wind: South west, F2 - light breeze
Sea: slight Swell: South 0.5 meters
Weather: overcast, warm, and humid
Day’s run: 55 nm sailed, 33 nm made good.

Looking at the chart I notice that we are sailing over the New Britain Trench which is 8.3 km deep. Wow, that is a long way down! I wonder what might be lurking in the deep dark cold depths.

Back on the surface this solitary life form is tracking horizontally across it slower than a dung beetle. Nonetheless tracking across it we are. Today’s navigational day gave us a distance sailed of fifty five miles, and a distance made good along our desired track of thirty three miles.

We carried a light breeze for much of yesterday afternoon to average about two knots. We had a period of about two hours of calm around midnight where we drifted backwards for three miles, and at two a.m. we enjoyed a nice little breeze from the north west which allowed us to make three to four knots for much of the night. This morning the wind has gone back down to a very light air but has thus far still been useable. For most of the morning I sat in the cockpit splicing the finished drag cones onto the series drogue, listening to “Moby Dick”, and occasionally turning the wheel a quarter turn this way, or a quarter turn that way to keep us on course, as the wind was too light for the wind vane to steer. Now the wind, what there is of it, is behind us. The drifter and jib are up on opposite sides, and thus far are keeping us on course.

A friend is helping me with weather reports. She notes for tomorrow that, “WINDS drop to 1 knot, GUSTS of 1 knot, from W until 10:00 am on the 15th. Not much wind after that.” Good grief! It looks like the ancient mariner and his cat are going to be drifting around the Solomon Sea until Christmas. Oh well! It could be worse. After all, I could have been stuck swinging off the pick in Cairns for the next several months.

All is well.