Passage to Darwin
We are now well on our way to Darwin, (with Red Island some 560nm behind us) and all being well we should arrive in Francis Bay, all set for de-lousing (more anon) at around lunchtime on the 23rd September.
Current position 10:44:33S 133:29:24E
One of the features of this passage and in fact the one
before it, to
One of the altogether surprising things about this passage and indeed most of the passages across the Pacific has been the pollution. The air pollution has really surprised us. Especially in the Pacific. Because it is such a massive area of the globe, and very sparsely populated, you would expect little or no pollution. But no, we are constantly cleaning grime off the boat and all of the standing and running rigging is filthy. We washed all of the running rigging in Mackay, and it is already dirty from air pollution. Similarly, water pollution. The waters on this passage have been covered, admittedly in patches, in a beige slime. Not sure if this an oil and detergent mix from Tankers flushing out their empty tanks, or if it is some for of algae. But what ever it is it is spread over hundreds of miles of otherwise pristine ocean.
The seas here do seem to be abundant with fish. But all we
have been able to catch since leaving the
This would be fine if we liked them. But, unless you “bleed” them we find the taste not to our liking. So although I can usually catch one within minutes of deploying a lure, they just get thrown back again. In fact I could swear that I caught one of them twice! Still it is a useful distraction sometimes. But for now we have given up. I may try again once we get closer to land and reefs, in the hope that there might be some Wahoo or Dorado out there……………………..
The winds for the second half of this passage have proved to
be fickle, and mostly light airs. But now and again, we will get period of
strongish winds, from a different direction to the prevailing or forecast wind
direction. These seem to co-inside with night fall and dawn. Right now we are
motor sailing. Which is a bit of a bummer, because the cost of diesel in
It has also been interesting to see how much hotter the sea
temperatures are here, compared to Mackay. In Mackay and indeed most of the
One of the delightful and entertaining parts of this passage has been the birds. I mentioned them in the last blog entry. Now, one of the Sooty Terns has “moved in”.
This chap now stays on the boat full time. Except that is when he “pops out” for a spot of fishing. Once he has had his fill, he returns to his favourite roosting spot, on a teak platform in the pulpit.
It is astonishing to see him there in the full midday sun. Especially
when I tell you that it is now so hot in the middle of the day, that the solar
gain on the teak desks is melting the bitumen based caulking between the teak
strips, I now have to sluice salt water over the decks each day. Sooty as Jennie calls him, even stays put
when we are reefing or letting out the
We also had an Artic Tern on boat for most of the day. This one looked completely knackered poor thing………….
That said, in flight, and when you watch the agility of their flight,, and landing antics, it is a very beautiful, graceful and (dare I say it) up lifting sight.
So not much else to report. We are both quite tired now. It has been quite rolly on this passage and quite hard to sleep when you are being rolled around you bunk. That coupled with the heat. But we will be there soon enough and then be able to catch up on the beauty sleep once again…………………..