Re: Ian's thoughts...

Tue 9 Dec 2003 05:01
A BIG day on Monday, 4 days out from New Caledonia & we hardly saw even a
flying fish ......then varrooomm...... from nowhere a plane from Aus coastal
patrol 1000 feet up approaches from astern . Frightened the daylights out of
us [ to put it nicely ] Minute later they're on the radio " yacht with sail
no. 91 identify yourself , number of persons on board etc etc " Nice to know
of our taxes are at work protecting you from invasion by a 30 footer.

Now I know why George was very quiet when his laptop had a bad hair day! Of
course his navigation skills, even using real paper charts & a pair of
dividers etc, are more than adequate but, with the programmes he has loaded,
the enormous amount of information available is truly wondrous . eg he
brings up on screen our part of the South Pacific in whatever scale he
wishes [selected from ALL the oceans loaded on the hard drive] & then can
down-load via wind direction/strength [up to 4 days hence]
forecast & overlay the chart - from this our sailing direction can be
decided. Then there is the ubiquitous GPS plotting - we sailed easily in to
a cove to anchor in 30 feet @ 4 am for a nap before entering Noumea & attend
the usual formalities The mind boggles at the voyages of Cook , Columbus ,
Joshua Slocum et al sailing in unknown waters.

Also on the PC are numerous recipes !!! We feasted on sticky date pudding
last night - thank you Compaq and Bec.

On the 1st leg from Fiji I thought 2 hour night watches were comfortable but
now I'm more in tune with this wonderful little sailboat & now it's 3 +
hours which allows a better sleeping pattern . Also I'm more in tune with
Avalon & the countless sounds & motions - this little boat is quite

We are now 90 nm out & it looks like we shall arrive in Coff's Harbour
around 7 am in the morning , tie up to a dedicated quarantine buoy [ as
instructed by the plane - but which George already knew & there we shall
wait until a visit @ 10 am before we are allowed to disembark Hopefully
George & I can have a hot shower before meeting Bec. [for her sake]

Almost forgot ... back on a Fijian island I became a fully paid up member of
Musket Cove Yacht Club for $ F 5 p.a. Amenities include 45m swimming pool,
hot showers , a general store across the track , free BBQ with firewood , a
fabulous view of moored boats in the harbour & the most generous barmaid
mixing rum & coke .

Ciao Ian