Saturday, 1 August 2015

Carnarvon to Cocos-Keeling Passage Summary

Hi everyone,
Here is a summary of our passage.  

First the usual track and speed plots.  The images are small due to the satellite link we're using to post at present.

Zen Track

Zen Speed

Now the vital statistics…

  • Distances/Speeds
    • Logged Distance = 1367nm
    • GPS Distance = 1346nm
    • Duration = 10 days 4 hours
    • Average speed = 5.6kt
    • Average day's run = 138nm
    • Best day's run = 159nm (6.6kt)
    • Minimum speed = 2 kt
    • Maximum speed = 8.5kt
  • Weather
    • Minimum wind speed = 2 kt
    • Maximum wind speed = ~45kt
    • Apparent wind angle range = 110 to 150 (we don't "do" running, choosing to broad reach instead)
    • Seas up to 5m
    • Swell up to 3m, and never less than 1.5m (which was uncomfortable in light airs)
    • 3 days of 8/8 overcast, 7 days with scattered cloud
    • 2 days of persistent rain, 2 days with showers, otherwise fine
  • Engine
    • Total = 38 hours
    • Driving = 20 hours
    • Charging = 18 hours
  • Consumption
    • Water = 100 litres
    • Fuel = 70 litres
    • Books = 8 (3 + 5)
    • Listened to more of our music library than we have for many years
  • Failures
    • Cockpit lockers not fully sealed - only an issue when pooped but need to be fixed
    • Bilges outboard of engine beds drain through to aft part of saloon - only an issue when pooped
  • Casualties
    • Automatic danbuoy inflated in a flooded cockpit locker - just needs new cylinder/sensor/strobe
  • Stars
    • New mainsail with extra-deep reefs
    • New yankee headsail
    • New tiller
    • Autopilot
    • Satphone.Me email system (over Iridium GO!)
    • PredictWind Offshore app (over Iridium GO!) for obtaining GRIBs
    • Routine DSC calling for exchanging position reports and setting up voice calls with other yachts

We had a wide range of weather but the whole passage was downwind.  This was as predicted.  The strength of the wind was significantly more than predicted, but this often seems to be the case when GRIBs predict over 20knots.  We were prepared for strong winds and the boat coped with them extremely well.  We motored through calm spots.

The sea state during the passage varied but consistently had SE seas and SW swell.  This produced nasty "cross seas" which resulted in our being pooped and side-swiped several times.  The worst seas seemed to follow the worst winds.  ie The sea state would be fine during the worst of the wind but would deteriorate as the wind decreased.  I've read of this but rarely experienced it.  It was quite marked.

The two of us stood 3 hours On 3 hours Off watches and these worked well for us.  We stayed on WA time so the 90 minute time change across the passage "slid" our watches a little each day.  So each watch was a little different each day.

Overall the passage was a great experience.  The boat behaved beautifully.  No matter how tough the passage, arriving at DI makes it immediately worthwhile.  There are nine yachts here of various nationalities including British, US, Swedish, French and Canadian.

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