Sunday, June 16, 2013

Slow going across the Coral Sea

So we have been playing dodge ball with bulk carriers the last 24 hours.

Eight of them in the last 3 hours alone. We talked on the VHF radio to the Captain of MV Fulvia. He was very nice, from Montenegro and looking forward to being back in Europe in 4 months time. Anyway, this enormous ship was headed right for us, and I thought maybe I should... I don't know... call them or something. So I did. And this little guy answers and takes our course information and says he will take our bow (pass in front of us, and Carrie and I look at each other - both thinking not good. A short while longer another voice calls us on the radio and says he is the Captain and they will of course take our stern (pass behind). I did mention he seemed like a nice fellow. One good thing - all the ships we talked to could see us on radar!

So this has been going on all day. At one point we had four huge bulk carriers passing us every which direction. We figure this is a dry run for the total chaos that will be the Torres Straits.

Every night this week the wind dies to nothing for pretty much the whole night long. We are 50 to 70 miles off shore, so this is frustrating - and making this trip long. There is also a wicked big swell coming up from the south, from somewhere in the Tasman I'd guess. That big swell is messing up our downwind run, so we can't run the sails as well as would be the case in a more subdued sea state. Basically we're rolling like mad. Frustrating for cooking as you can imagine.

We'll be a number of days into Port Moresby yet, as this wind is nothing like the GRIB files and light much of the time.

12 02.168 S
151 57.259 E

Owen and family

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