July 25, 2012
Republic of Singapore Yacht Club.
Last night I fell asleep in the cockpit and suddenly woke up to see a large ship crossing my stern.
“Oh Cheeses! (Pecorino, Romano and Jarlsberg!)” I shouted as I jumped up ready to try and save me and the boat.
Then I noticed that there was a stern line attached to the jetty. Oh – it iwas alright as I was tied up and NOT moving. WOW – that’s how ingrained the focus has been as I have travelled here!
Then there was the jumping up in the middle of the night with cramps in my right leg. Hobbling around and doing a fair bit of “oh oh oh.” that has now got me on my Anti-cramp regime which works, namely, a can of 100Plus a dayseems to give me the salt and electrolyte balance. I eat bananas too as in this part of the world they are excellent with all sorts of varieties and flavours unlike the “look so pretty but taste of nothing” ones that are produced for the Urban Australian Consumer.
THELIST – of course there is one about the length of my arm. Some things I have been able to address immediately and others are on the “imminent” section. Firstly however, i have to get my own paperwork and documents sorted as I will be working here for while.
What turned out to be a Very Pleasurable thing was the RHODIA pencil.
When i was in Sydeny with my Mate Mike we went into a fancy paper and card shop in Crown St. I bought a stupidly expensive RHODIA pencil – orange with black wood, triangular and “oh so French-style” (you see I used to buy the RHODIA stuff years ago in Paris and loved the notebooks with the squares and a cardboard bit that provided a writing surface…they were superbly thought out!) ANYWAY – the FIVEBUCK pencil turned out to be a Perpetual Pleasure during the journey. It sharpened to a point; was nice to hold and I have almost worn it out – eraser flat and pencil soon to reach the “too small to be cdomfortable” stage.
Small things help to make parts of the journey go well.
Now the final pic is “AHA- yes, I AM in Singers- for sure!”
OH – and there was this “Rasputin at theEquator” one.
That’s it…SHADOW is in Rest and Restoration mode. The skipper could do with a freezing cold beer – of which there was one that had been saved for the occasion of the Arrival.
July 24, 2012
I am sitting on the deck of the Republic of singapore Yacht Club looking over the yachts and boats in their pens. There at G8 is SHADOW. Journey – DONE.
2500 miles later and there is a great sense of Personal Achievement…I haven’t had this feeling since I sailed my last boat, Murianne, into Darwin harbour at 0500 in the morning with the windvane working and I was standing at the mast watching the wharf area go by.
This tme to my surprise I sailed from where I anchored overnight after completing the Selat RIAU section during the day. There was good wind and I was pushed splendidly along almst unmtil the entry of the marina.
Now what about this?
- I anchored in 9m off Pulau Nongsa with Singapore in the background.
- Hmm…at 0300…I’ll check the anchor winch. Nothing! That began a 3 hour project of cleaning connections, switches and EVERYTHING. Finally – when I released the brake on the anchor winch everything worked well!
- THEN as I sighed with relief I looked astern to see a rock sticking out of the water. AARGH it was low tide and I was right on the edge of the reef.
- Anchor in…at these times it always takes AGES and I JUST touched the reef as I moved away. Phew!
Onward to the “breakwater” which is outside the RSYC. Well…..I was lookoing for a wall and NOT a verytin white line at water level.
“Hey. THAT’S the breakwater!” I exclaimed to myself., Changed course and the 0nly one who was NOT panicking was me.
Pulau Nongsa Position:
July 22, 2012
Holding on so tight that I wouldn’t feel the bump meant that….I didn’t. As the numerals went past on the screen faster than I had thought possible it was an interesting exercise to get THEPHOTO.
July 22, 2012
Holding on so tight that I wouldn’t feel the bump meant that….I didn’t. As the numerals went past on the screen faster than I had thought possible it was an interesting exercise to get THEPHOTO. t
July 21, 2012
It’s all the fault of my good friend, Herb. When we travelled to work each morning Herb shared lots of stories and interesting information. Stan Rogers was a Canadian folk singer/balladeer. He wrote and sang songs based on Canadian sea faring traditions and stories. Perversely, a bit like his songs, Stan went out in a blaze of Glory himself. There was an aircraft crash and subsequent fire. Stan Rogers went into the burning plane to help others and that was HIS swan song.
BUT as I have been travelling there are snippets of songs and lyrics that have stuck in my brain and get repeated again and again.
“So come with me,” you say, “to where the southern Cross lays high upon your shoulder…”
He pounds his fist white on the dock in the night and says,“I’m gonna win!”
..eat fish from a can. And we catch tiny fish for Japan.
and so on and so on…they are just wonderful and I really enjoy them.
Last night the iPod got plugged in and as I sailed along I listened to some very familiar songs and got to sing out loud and have fun too! A couple of glasses of wine helped the evening along.
Back to the everyday things. Well…a tropic bird (the first that I have seen)is loitering around in the sky and earlier today a pod of large dolphins swam past. They were different from what I have previously seen. A blunt nose almost like a Beluga Whale profile and a small dorsal fin. They were quite large. THAT was surprising as the dolphins are usually quite small.
The wind has picked up today and is helping to blow me along to Selat Riau – a Strait which I will travel to reach BATAM.
One hundred miles to go before I reach the start of the Strait.
Now the question is “When will I expect to arrive in Singapore?”
With good fortune I COULD be at BATAM Sunday night ready to cross into Singapore Monday at first light. Or Tuesday.
Yesterday I thought “Wednesday” ….the really good thing is that I had hoped to arrive around the 24th July.
BUT…I’m not there yet.
In about 30 miles I will be crossing the Equator. Last time I didn’t feel the bump. I may this time.
Position at 1030 Saturday 21st July, 2012
Course 305degrees (I am actually doing around 315-320) at 5.7knots. (Fishing line streaming out from the stern!) One reef in the main and headsail poled out to port.
Wind is SE and probably just over 10 knots with white caps on the waves.
Ambient temperature is 30.1C.
July 20, 2012
..this gets posted then it means that the email program I am using is functioning. It has been shutting down the moment it connects which means I pay for the call AND get nothing in return.
Which is exactly what last night was about too.
I tried for about 4 hours to get moving and eventually gave up, dropped the sails, went below with a “I give up” attitude at midnight. Sooner or later something would change. At 0300 I was able to move and get out of the current which had trapped me in one spot for hours and hours and hours.
I am motoring at the moment to charge the batteries as the autopilot is being used. The ARIES windvane doesn’t work as the current is stronger than the wind. It was the same with my last boat in this part of the world…an electronic steering device becomes very useful. As I motor it also means that I can push the boat along a bit against the current that can be felt almst as if it is gripping the bottom of the boat.
Back to the email program.
I sent off a message to the Support team and received a reply saying “dud phone! next time use Iridium.”
I was NOT impressed – especially as the messages to and from the phone direct work well. It seems to be when i try to connect to the “uuplus” remote/server.
So – short of writing VERY rude comments about what I think may be the dud components I shall push on for now.
This part of the journey is the one requiring the greatest demands on patience. I would like it all to pass quickly but as one approaches the Equator it is not going to be easy. To date I have been surprised and delighted at the amount of wind that there has been at night.
Despite the irritations and frustrations of yesterday I made 77 miles – about 40 more that I thought I had done!
I’m in the South China Sea, to the West of a large island called BANGKA and then will be heading for a Strait between the islands of BATAM and BINTAN which are opposite Singapore. That seems to be the most efficient pathway.
As to when I arrive in Singapore?
I have to start thinking about that as the “Authorities” have to be advised. I’ll have more of an idea within the next 24/48 hours.
I HAVE to reach civilisation as the fruit cake that Jean made is VERY soon to be finished! Will I have the CONTROL to make it last until the Equator? (Bets are on!)
Position at 1120 hrs, Friday 20th July, 2012.
Wind is SE, about 6knots. With the direction that I am sailing one can say “I have the wind coming from my back side.” (This is a paraphrase of a question once asked of Miles Smeeton – when talking of his Cape Horn sailing adventures with wife, Beryl and their ketch Tzu Hang. These people are in “my heroes” file.)
Course 308degrees at 5.5 knots (I am helping the boat along with the motor remember!)
Trip meter reads 1619 nautical miles.
Ambient temperature 30.1C.
July 19, 2012
As I write I am just sailing between to islands – LIPAR (I thought it was LIPART but (a) that doesn’t sound Indonesian and (b) the printing on the chart has a blob so I had to guess! The other island is LIAR.
I’m on the edge of a shipping lane and a passenger vessel has just passed on its way to Tanjung Priok, Jakarta.
The wind was excellent last night. Sailing at night is the way to clock up the miles in this part of the world. In the last 24 hours I motored for 2 hours to charge the batteries and push through some tide and sailed at a cracking pace for the rest of the time with an Easterly wind held forward of the beam. (Meaning “slightly ahead of me.”) I was up and down like a yo-yo all night keeping watch for fishing boats etc etc. Fortunately the fishing huts didn’t appear until morning when I sailed through about 20 of them in one area. I don’t fancy the idea of crashing into one of them in the night…or anything else for that matter!
Position at 1030hrs Thursday 19th July, 2012:
The trip meter reads 1542 nautical miles.
In the past 24 hours the distance travelled was 116 miles.
Wind is E @ 7kts. Temperature is 29.5C Fridge is 4.5C!
This leg is the last of the long stretches. After this section I will be entering Selat Riau which will take me up to Batam and from there when I am ready I will cross to Singapore.
Well that’s the plan anyway…..
July 18, 2012
I was significantly tired and listless yesterday. It took a long time to do things and the idea of “attaching the spinnaker pole to the headsail” was tiring before I actually did it! It must have taken me about half an hour to crank up the energy to do it. I was certainly in “true Zombie Mode.” Slowly, however, things were done and I just had to be careful and as thoughtful as possible. In between I slept and dragged myself up to look around for hazards, fishing vessels and more of the polystyrene “chicken rice or noodles?” packs – an upside down foam surfboard(the fin had me excited there for a moment!) and Caterer’s sized Satay Sauce containers.
At one stage I was in the cockpit and I realised when I woke up that my mouth was wide open. Hey, it took too much effort to close it! (I’ll insert a space there for some of my witty readers to interpolate!__) Mouth Wide Open is now potentially hazardous as I have noticed two flies on board. The “Geraldton Blue” (that’s the fly swat that was bought in Geraldton for a dollar…
“Can I have the receipt as if it doesn’t work I’m bringing it back!” (The checkout person did a double take and got the joke.)
.. as I knew it would be needed at some stage) is now in STANDBY mode ready for Instant Operation.
Fly swats are always laughingly associated with my dear friend Marny who says “two shillings in cash to the person who gets that fly!”
After some good sleeping time I am now ready today to make four shillings – in cash – and a few more miles as well!
Although the winds are light, too light for the ARIES windvane so the Autopilot is in use, I am slowly making progress. There are 2 legs each of around 200 miles of this part of the journey to do. The current leg is from Selat Sunda to Macclesfield Channel which is between two islands: LEPAR and LIAT.
To the North is BANGKA and there is a passage to the West between the island and Sumatra. It’s a shorter route but I have chosen to travel the longer route to the East as it is more open, requiring less attention to navigation and position requirements and gives me a chance to balance sailing and sleeping time. It also gives me more space to accomodate for wind changes.
Position at 1015 hours Wednesday 18th July, 2012.
Course 018 degrees, 4.4kts.
Trip meter reads 1423nm (Travelled 84 miles in the last 24hr period)
Currently overcast, temp of 28.2C, Wind SW 6-8kts max.
July 17, 2012
I am sitting in the cockpit with all of the canvas surrounds rolled up. The sea is a soft, slightly milky emerald green, calm with just a rippling of the surface from the wind. Every now and then the detritus of “Civilisation” float by – a Giant licorice packet, polystyrene bits, a slipper (which is what “thongs/jandals/flipflops” are called.) The “haze” as it is euphemistically referred to is bad. Probably 3 miles visibility in most places. It’s permanently smoky and smoggy.
The Sunda Straits were entered just on dark last night and I made as much distance as i could until 0300hours. Fasten the seatbelts? – more like the boat was sailing on its edge. The tidal waves and strong wind gusts were able to be handled by this bigger and heavier boat. I admit that it was better done in the dark as if I had seen what I was going through I would have been very apprehensive.
When it came time to drop anchor in a bay and rest it proved to be not possible as the current had me stopped dead in one spot with the impression that I was really going somewhere.I couldn’t get into shallow water at all. So eventually I realised I would have to just go on. As I was getting things ready the boat was pushed backwards out into the strait.
So I motored with the tide this morning to complete the second half of the Sunda Straits journey. I am now clear and slowly moving up the Sumatra coast with a Westerly wind of around 6 knots.
Before tackling this next part of the journey I acted upon the advice given to my by my knowledgeable engineering friend, Jerry about the connection to the steering box. WHACKO! it worked and everything was back in working order. FANTASTIC – and a MOSTSIGNIFICANTTHANKYOU for that.
it means that I can use the autopilot when the winds are light and like last night, I was able to shelter from the crashing, splashing, whipping and dumping that was going on all around me and was there white knuckling the wheel!
And just so that I remember, the Indian Ocean segment put on a Really Good Show yesterday!
SHADOW is an excellent sea boat.
Position at 1320hrs Tuesday 17th July, 2012.
Trip meter reads 1355 nautical miles. From 0800 yesterday to 0800 today the distance travelled was 124 miles.
12 DAYSFROMCARNARVON TO JAVA. TICKDONE.
July 16, 2012
..it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Position at 1000hrs Monday 16th July, 2012.
Course 002degrees at 6.6knots.
Wind E freshening to 18-20kts, waves 2m+
Trip meter reads: 1219 nautical miles.
The current pushes me into the wind so that I have to continually monitor the course and try to reduce the effects of waves crashing spectacularly over the boat.
From 0800 yesterday to 0800 today the distance travelled was 150miles.
Out of the marked fishing zone of Christmas Island which extends 180m to the South but less to the North the Indonesian fishing boats can start getting on with their livelihood. That meant that I spent a lot of time in the cockpit last night watching for the lights of fishing boats and making sure that I didn’t do what an old friend, Ines did in Thailand. She was asleep and her boat ran right up behind the fishing trawler and was caught in their net.
It was bad enough the time I had a look around and went below to make coffee. As I was doing that a pair of feet wearing thongs went past the window.
I flew out to be greeted by two fishermen pulling in their net as I passed very close to them.
“Hullo” they waved and smiled.
I vowed I wouldn’t do THAT again.
I caught a fish yesterday – a MAHIMAHI, or dolphin fish. It flashed fluorescent green and blue as I pulled it in – only to lose it just by the boat. I was going “ooh ooh” as the wire trace was cutting my hands and so let off the pressure and….gone. Oh well.
The gloves are now ready for the next time.
The my fishing adventures continued in the night with a flying fish floundering in the scuppers. A nice sized one. I threw it back into the water as I thought it was cheating to just grab a fish off the deck!
So it’s a bit of a trial today. Grey and overcast too.
Tanjong Lajar and the Selat Panaitan which leads into Selat Sunda are just under 60 miles away. That will be a whole new story.