Thursday, 30 July 2015

Cocos-Keeling Inbound Day 9

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 13 39S 098 38E, saling at 5.5knots in a 10-15knot SE breeze. Unfortunately our destination is now dead downwind so we are "zigzagging" our way there. The day's run was 139nm with a total of 1186nm for the passage so far. We have only 140nm to go.

Yesterday afternoon the great sailing continued. During the evening the wind veered to SE which was taking us well east of our route so we gybed at midnight. By 0600 the wind appeared to be going around to the ESE so we gybed back. Now the wind is SE and doesn't look like changing to help us out. Never mind, the sailing conditions are almost perfect and we're enjoying them. Perfect would require zero swell - we're not going to see that for a VERY long time!

Last night there was little cloud and a nearly full moon. It's amazing how bright moonlight shines. The varying moonlight makes sailing at night vary enormously, but it's always fun. Overnight we collected one flying fish aboard. Nothing unusual in that except that it was tiny - about 40mm long.

At the 0300 watch change we decided to have a cuppa. Kettle on. 30 seconds we flamed out! (sorry). In SE Asia a 9kg gas bottle lasted us at least three months. We now know that on the winter WA coast it lasts two months. Just as well we have two bottles aboard. At dawn the conditions were OK to swap the two bottles so flame was on again. The bottles are stored separately, one on each pushpit quarter, and they have to be physically swapped to access the gas line.

This morning we saw what we think was a sea turtle. We weren't close enough to be sure so it might have been some sort of basking fish. We're continuing to see a few sea birds, mainly a beautiful bird with slender wings. They have white breasts and are otherwise jet black, looking like they're dressed for a black tie dinner. They soar the swells exactly like albatross but are only about ~0.6m in wing span. Our best guess is some kind of shearwater but we're guessing since our bird book is buried somewhere.

Our ETA is early afternoon tomorrow. Must go and find our Q flag!

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