Saturday, 5 December 2015


Dawn brings us to a full seven days on passage from Momfafa, an uninhabited anchorage we used to clean our hull and propeller. We stayed there four days watching weather, believing the computer-generated GRIBS that westerly winds would arrive. They did not. With no clear "window" to jump off and make progress northbound, we simply went.

The passage from Pulau Waigeo Indonesia to the Republic of Palau - a passage of roughly 500 miles at a bearing of 20 degrees - crosses the equator and an area prone to calms. To complicate matters, strong currents of up to 2 knots or more run westerly north of Waigeo and easterly at or above 04 N, creating a clockwise rotation with a southbound arm that hampered our northbound voyage, reducing our usual passage speed by about 40%.

At the equator, at a change of watch in the dark of night, Philip made an appeal to Neptune to keep us safe and mixed a small tot of aged Filipino rum with the briny sea. If a slow passage defines, safe, than safe we are. Many times Carina bucked like a rodeo bull in confused swell and calm winds going absolutely nowhere but backwards, we wanted to cry (or Leslie did).

On one such occasion, at night, dolphins suddenly began to play around Carina, their punctuated blows throwing mist into the moonlight, as if to say, "stop fretting, life is good". Each night too, falling stars streaked across the magnificent starlit sky, pushing us from frustration to appreciation for being just here, just now, where it is truly beautiful.

At 12/4/2015 and 21:10 UTC (GMT) our position was: 05°09.19'N / 134°30.53'E.
We were traveling 010 degrees true at 3.5 knots.

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