Thursday, 18 October 2012

Enroute towards Kentar Island

Hi everyone,
We've had a varied 24 hours since the previous blog. The light wind we had yesterday afternoon died after sunset and we had to motor all night. The sea was "glassed out" for hours. At about midnight the engine started making nasty noises so we quickly reduced revs to idle and had a look at the engine. The V-belt which drives the freshwater pump and alternator was disintegrating. We shut down the engine and fitted a spare in 15 minutes. Hopefully it will last for as long as the original, which was on the engine when we bought the boat.

This morning the wind returned, albeit still very light, allowing us to motor-sail (sort of). At around 1100 a rainstorm appeared to have our name on it, giving us some good sailing for an hour. We even had to put a reef in for a while as winds got up over 20 knots. We didn't get any rain. Once the storm moved on we were back to motor-sailing.

We are clearly out of the SE trade wind season here now. Since Belitung cumulus clouds have built up each morning, with some becoming quite large rain/thunderstorms. In the evening they dissipate, and last night (for example) we had clear skies from about 0200. It's sultry and humid all day and all night, with the heat from the engine adding to the discomfort.

Scattered thunderstorms
Last night we were visited by a migrating swallow. He flew around the boat, trying out places to land and hovering over parts of the boat. We thought it had flown away, but in the morning we found him perched on the pushpit. From there he flew into the cabin, and we think he flew out of the forward hatch - we can't find him anyway! Kakadu reported they had birds aboard too when we did our sked. Other wildlife seen includes flying fish and a sea snake.

We now have about 80nm to run - just a Fremantle to Bunbury! It looks like the wind is starting to die again, so we expect another tedious motor overnight. In preparation for yet more motoring we filtered and transferred 40 litres of fuel from jerry cans into the main tanks while motoring this morning. The main tanks now have plenty of fuel to get us to Kentar Island.

We expect to cross the equator tomorrow morning. Rum and other tributes have been prepared to offer King Neptune!

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