Day 5 at sea

Sailing from New Caledonia to Brisbane, Australia
Friday, November 14th, 2008
03:30 UTC (14:30 local time)

E 156.59
Winds: light and variable
Seas: light
Speed under sail : 4.2 knots

Forecast: more of the same

We are now more than 600 miles from our departure port of Noumea, New Caledonia and only 200 miles away from our arrival port in Brisbane, Australia. At our current pace we expect to arrive in Brisbane on Sunday. It has been a slow, but comfortable ride. The forecast we had for light winds for most of the week ended up being light winds for the entire week. There is often not enough wind to keep the sails full so we have had to motor at least half of the way.
The engine noise and smell gets annoying and we are trying to sail as much as we can even if it means moving along at barely 4 knots (a good speed on Sabbatical III for a passage like this would be more like 7 knots). Days have been mostly clear with phenomenally blue skies and a deep blue ocean. It is warm. There is some ocean swell which keeps the boat rocking a bit, but nothing compared to our trip last year when we banged our way down to New Zealand with strong winds, storms and big seas.
The big full moon keeps it bright as day at night except when the occasional rain shower moves through. We take turns sleeping so that someone can look out for ships and make sure the sails are set right. So far we have seen two large ships, but both were several miles away. We have daily radio contact with 3 other boats. We are eating well on the boat, but will be out of all fresh food by the time we arrive. Good thing too as Australian quarantine is known to take away most everything that is not canned.

So, all in all, things are good.


Posted by email from sabbatical3blog’s posterous