Monday, July 8, 2013

Seas still big, working our way west across the Arafura Sea

It's a little known fact that Arafura means "beautiful jade colored water that kicks your ass.
The wind never lets up that we've noticed, and since the water is only 130 feet deep here... well it kicks up a bit. About 5.5 meters this morning. A bit less now. Argh.

A couple of nights ago we were struggling on in heavy winds. 30 - 35 knots for 24 hours and 16 foot seas. We passed 20 ships last night. One close encounter. Mostly they were Asian fishing fleets. No sleep for Carrie or I, five minute lookout schedule. Yesterday we angled northwest to stay in Oz economic zone so no Asian fishing fleets. No rest for the weary.

We miss judged how much quick food to provision. By quick I mean crackers, instant anything, and simple canned meals. This is partly because money is as always tight, but also that Port Moresby is very expensive. Triple what you would pay back home. Must have something to to with the 20 billion dollars for Liquid Natural Gas development in the last two years. Our shortage is also, in part, due to the great hospitality we experienced from James Baker (his youngest is the rapper Machine Gun Kelly - go figure. James is very proud of him). Anyway... as a cumulative oversight we are now out of crackers and almost everything else easy to make. Thing is it is still too rough to barely cook. So...Argh. Again.

James was really great. He took Carrie and the kids into his home and wined and dined us. I stayed on the boat because of the heavy winds in the area (notice a pattern?). James also was our guardian angel in Port Moresby, driving us around town - it's not safe to walk anywhere. Four Chinese nationals were decapitated while we were there. Port Moresby is a bit like Beruit in the 1980's. Kidnappings and murder are rife. Unless traveling with James and his bodyguards Tamsyn and Griffyn never left the yacht club. Within the last year a young white girl was abducted and murdered 100 meters from the yacht club. I made many solo trips into town to deal with clearance and Indonesian visas.

Brian Hull was also generous with his time and assistance, letting us participate in his ritual TV nights with close friends, and driving us around on a couple errands.

So thanks guys. You were great.

So we're headed west.
Oh, and Happy Birthday Mom!

Owen and Carrie

9 57.425 S
137 20.555 E
272 degrees true
4.5 knots

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