Delorme log Vanuatu to Darwin 2017 posted by Eric

This post is a little out of order (late) and perhaps a bit redundant,  but it’s a new category that we’re introducing since Eric recently figured out how to save our Delorme In Reach Satellite texts posted while sailing open ocean without wifi. Good luck deciphering the shorthand!

Avoiding a splash, Eric Rigney saves his dry clothes!

July 2, 2017 – Had a few probs yesterday. Water thru aft port lt, indoor fruit hammock ripped ceiling panel in half (too much fruit), engine won’t start, engine sips coolant (heat exchanger leak? $3k?), engine won’t start (fuel issue somewhere), and prop shaft leaks after 24 hrs of use. Have to tighten packing gland weekly. Might have to replace in Darwin. Always something.

But we’re hauling ass at 7kts on a broad reach with mostly clear skies, ok seas, & the crew is in relatively pos. spirits.

L worried we’re screwing up the boys’ education & social culture. No proms for either. I say they’ll be motivated to catch up & so far no bullying, peer pressure, consumerism, drugs, alcohol, or sex. Their resumes will state: High School “sailed around the world.” That alone might get them the interview. It’s what tipped Nick’s job application w/ Disney over 300 other applicants.

July 4, 2017 – Ships have been passing us every night these past 3 nights. Glad to have AIS transponder. One even radioed us to confirm our course.

July 8, 2017 – E wind last few days inhibited N progress, adding mileage (1/2d) to trip. Trying to balance btwn course & comfort/spd. SE forecast not yet valid.

July 9, 2017 – B caught 20″ albacore! Fresh tuna for lunch & dinner. Wind direction changed. No more calm sailing. Rolly Polly.
Once we get our refurbished pactor modem reinstalled in Darwin, we’ll be able to email while at sea along with sending Delorme text messages. While at sea we’d use our sail mail email addresses…small attachments can be sent too if our pactor modem were working! I’m looking forward to reading emails.

A Taiwanese fishing trawler snuck up 50 yd behind us. No AIS (required by maritime law). Guess they were curious. Woke me up!

We’ll be halfway to Darwin by midnight tonight our time (6.5hrs dif). Pleased w/our progress. Moderately comfortable seas.

18d psg. Won’t sleep much thru Torres Strait. Navigated between natural obstacles while in major int’l shipping corridor. Good practice 4 the Red Sea.

July 10, 2017 – Fulllest of moons. Makes for a bright night watch. Guys all watched first. Mine started at 5:00 am – very unusual. Good to change it up. I enjoyed the sleep.

Hard to believe we still have 8 days to go. This passage seems interminable esp. following the shorter ones to Samoa, Fiji n Vanuatu. We’re only 55 miles off the Papua New Guinea coastline. We’re approaching now the Torres Straights but not yet traveling along the shipping lanes. We’re traveling in the Coral Sea rt now.

Watched movie “Australia” last night. Features Darwin just before and during WWII. All of us ready to get off rocking boat. Rocks esp side-to-side when running.

July 11, 2017 – Stormy wx as we enter Torres gauntlet. 30-35mph wind. Running w/staysail & furled main. Rockiest night last night. Boobies tried landing aboard last night. 1 broke neck on poop deck, 1 hit wind generator blades, 1 landed on boom, 4th on poop deck. Scared live ones away. Asked Trent to throw dead boobie off deck, did he want gloves? He said, “If I’m grabbing a boobie, I ain’t gonna wear a glove!”

July 14, 2017 – We had to stop sailing & hide behind an island in the Torres Strait to escape the 30-35 knot winds that were pounding us. Things were breaking making it an expensive xing. We’re safe. Plan to sail tomorrow am. ETA Darwin on the 21st.

Coconut Island viewed from our anchor.

July 15, 2017 11:13 am – Beautiful sailing conditions. Hoping to clear Torres Strait b4 midnight, then hazard free for 4 days until we approach Darwin. Bryce prepping to catch fish again. Getting back on track. So glad we stopped. Border Patrol helicopter questioned us via radio. Normal.

July 15, 2017 17:20 – Beautiful sailing. Should clear Strait by 11pm. O Happy Day. B caught 2 fish..bam-bam. Tuna (20″) & wahoo (40″). Done 4 the trip!  B cast 2 lines, one lure floats, the other slightly submerged while sailing the shallows of Torres Strait btwn 2 small islands. With setting sun, a tuna strikes. As we drag the fight out of him, Trent goes to pull in the 2nd line before sun disappears–then bam….a Wahoo strikes. Quelle chance!

We drag em til no more fight, pull them in, then bleed & drag em by tail, then gut & behead over the water. Rinse once more b4 filleting in cockpit. Minimal mess, although clothes get a little bloody. After this, we will remove our shirts and shorts to avoid difficult laundry….

Bryce Rigney snags a Wahoo!

Fresh fish if not frozen & then thawed, is rubber-like, not very good to eat. We’ve learned all good sushi is quick frozen ASAP. Leslie finishes filleting fish & skinnin em. Cuts, packages, & freezes the fresh catch. We’ll eat fish tomorrow!

Kandu in the Torres Straits 2017.

July 20, 2017 – Should arrive Darwin Tomorrow. What a passage! Thank goodness the boys are growing up. They have assumed much responsibility since our first passages sailing the large Pacific Ocn: now Trent age 13, Bryce age 15. What a difference a couple years make!

 

5 thoughts on “Delorme log Vanuatu to Darwin 2017 posted by Eric”

  1. Wow! So glad this post comes to us much later in the trip- So glad all turned out well! LOL with Trent’s response to throwing out the fish!! Happy you all can hold on to your sense of humor through the tough times 🙂 Thanks for your updates!!!

  2. Super interesting. I so admire Leslie for all the imagination she must have as far as cooking and keeping a small space cleaned up? How you manage to fix all the things that break OMG .

  3. Daily blogs are great, will jog memory later for recall. B& T will be great sailers and much more mature and thoughtful for their future years. All good, have safe sailing. Papa

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