We've had a busy few days here at DI. Again a mixture of boat work and leisure.
- Fitted hose to protect anchor snubber line from chafing on the bow roller/chain
- Fitted our old autotuner to Australian catamaran Shayler and recommissioned their HF radio
- Swam the rip several times, seeing several sharks and many colourful fish
- Explored the north end of DI
- Lots of relaxing!
Swimming in the rip is a lot of fun. We've mainly done so using the dinghy to get to the upstream end and then swim down with the current with one of us holding on the the dinghy. Each time we've seen several 1m+ sharks (black tip and white tip), several large fish and many smaller fish. Unfortunately the photos to date don't do it justcie but here are a couple. Once we swam all the way from the main DI beach to the rip and explored the far side where there are some nice coral "gardens".
In the Rip
In the Rip
The work we've done for Shayler will give them a working HF radio system, something worth having when crossing the Indian Ocean. Their tuner failed a few years ago but with our old tuner and their radio installed they are up and running. There is a HF radio net operating amongst the yachts, including yachts on passage from SE Asia or Australia to Cocos-Keeling and on to Rodrigues and beyond. Our own radio is now performing well and we have been able to talk with yachts approaching Rodrigues (2000nm away) and one yacht in the Kimberley region of WA.
The weather has been gradually degrading over the last few days. Yesterday the SSE wind really started to blow and by evening it was hitting 40 knots. It was uncomfortable since there is about 1nm of fetch to the SSE, which produced a chop approaching 1m. Happily the holding here is very good and everyone rode it out without incident. I was happy to have fitted the hose. There was a lot of rain overnight and the wind gradually backed to the SE which reduced the chop but it continued to blow over 30knots all night.
The wind finally eased down to 20-25 knots this afternoon. We spent the afternoon aboard Vulcan Spirit playing board games. During the morning we topped up our fresh water tanks from the rain, just opening the deck filler and building a "dam" to direct the water into it with a towel. Collected about 40 litres in an hour. Dam design is critical so we'll do better with practice!
We expect the weather to be windy and rainy for a frew more days. Winds look like being light for a while after that. We're considering staying until next weekend. It would be nice to see Cocos-Keeling at its best before leaving.
Trust all's well where you are!