Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Passage summary

0154 UTC 11/1/2007
24°01.8310 S
153°32.3657 E

Overall our ocean passage from Port Vila, Vanuatu to Bundaberg, Australia has been as good as one can expect for those of us who endeavoring to transit wide stretches of open ocean. Delightfully all the considerable precautions, preparations and some small amount of luck endeavored to make for a spectacular, fast and comfortable passage. Passing Nine Hundred and forty six miles of South Pacific Ocean and Coral Sea thus far we have a mere seventy three miles to go. For over forty eight hours we have not the need to touched a sheet (adjust sails). The promise of fair weather beckons our arrival and ahead of schedule!

Big passages are serious business and endeavoring to ensure that they are not only safe, but comfortable and enjoyable is attributed to hard work not luck. In preparation for this passage for many weeks weather patterns, forecasts and actual resulting weather were carefully studied. Severe weather and seas stress body, mind and the boat and are to be avoided with all possible precaution. On no less than three occasions we prepared the boat for passage only to depart then turn back when the weather did not arrive as expected. Pre-departure preparations are considerable with pre-cooking meals, obtaining fresh fruits and vegetables, filling water tanks, stowing dinghy, dinghy engine and ancillary gear. All this to say nothing of the mental preparation and pressures of seeing other sailing friends set out, impending cyclone risk and bureaucratic check out formalities.

Passage statistics:

Distance sailed: 1024nm or 1167 statue miles or 1879 kilometers.
Log book entries: 162 (estimate)
Engine hours: 19 (estimate)
Watches stood: 47 (3hr night and 4hr day)
Weather files downloaded: 51
Blog updates: 9
Showers: 2
Longest period of sleep: 2 hrs (estimate)
Scheduled radio calls: 12
Fish caught: 1 Tuna approx 30lbs and one White tip reef shark approx 3.5' (in four hours of fishing).
Ships sighted: 2 large tankers no closer than 6nm.
Best 24hr run: 175.5nm
Average 24hr run: 151nm
Broken gear: none

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