Day 102 Less than 2,000 nm to halfway 12/12/13

Dec 12, 2013 Kellerberrin and Binningup

Australian ham radio operators located in Binningup and Kellerberrin

I’ve turned west and am making good time. My GPS puts me 1,996 miles from the halfway mark! I did just over 1000 miles in the last week since leaving Cape Leeuwin and half of that was going north, so if I can get past the calms predicted in the next day or so, I will be making good time towards half way. It was very hot in the cockpit at one point today, so along with some laundry, I had a good scrub. I was surprised at the amount of skin that came off. It feels really good and I’ll rub in some lavender moisture cream just to give me that spa feeling. A bath and clean clothes all at the same time? What ever next. My next task is to wash my Gill waterproof fleece farmer john outfit and my fleece jacket. It will be such a treat to get them washed; they are definitely past due in that department. I guess that’s one of the perks of coming North – getting my self clean, and the boat has dried out a lot inside as well. 

There are two French Islands south of me, Île Amsterdam and Île St-Paul. There are some great stories about the history of the islands and the Google Earth maps are very interesting to look at. Getting back to my new route, in the British Admiralty book “Ocean Passages for the World” the route I am taking is shown on chart # 5308 World Sailing Ship Routes. This chart is inside the envelope which accompanies the book. The route I am taking is in fact an old, well used sailing route.

I made contact tonight with Peter VK6APZ from Kellerberrin in Western Australia. I had Cliff ZL4AS in Balclutha, NZ and  Ted VK6NTE just outside Binningup, on the radio tonight. Great to have some time to chat with these fellows. We have just had another squall go over, not enough rain to catch but each one washes the salt from the deck , so when a good shower comes I can open the valves and collect some rain water. I will feel a lot better when the tanks are full again.

I feel very good this morning and have been busy on deck.  The day dawned and all around us was the “valley of the rain squalls”. I got excited and thought this is the morning we will put some serious water in the tanks. I needed a strategy. There are several inherent problems to overcome before I open the valves to the deck drains and welcome the water below into my 10  gallon holding tank. The first is to make sure all the salt has washed off the deck and sails before I open the valve. So I need a really good downpour or several showers with no salt water getting on deck at the same time. The situation for that to happen is somewhat difficult. It means virtually coming to a stop and sit still while the rain washes the boat for awhile and then when I think it’s done, open the valves and let ‘er rip.

The squalls in this valley I am in are rather tame and the best I’ve received from them so far is a heavy scotch mist, not enough to wash the deck of its salt. In the last few days, particularly in the morning and late afternoon, I’ve had about five or six of these misty bursts so the deck and sails have been rinsed. The squalls this morning looked ominous,  but as in life, looks can be deceiving and they were little more than heavy mist, no real rain. Certainly not the rain clouds we’ve grown up with on the West coast of B.C. Undaunted, I kept at it. I ended up using a new sponge to wipe the mist off the deck and squeezed it into a waiting bucket which I had cleaned, ready for the job. During two misty squalls I managed to collect about a gallon of water. This isn’t much water, but when you are out of water completely and you’re desperate, it could seem like the Hoover Dam!  

I have 25-30 gallons of water in my tanks and I don’t want to take that for granted.  I’ll take every opportunity to collect water and perfect my collection techniques. I found that the rubber bucket I was using imbued the water with a strong rubbery taste which became evident when I was eating my morning oats. I forced 3/4 of the oats down but there are still three or four spoonfuls waiting for me in the saucepan. I am trying to find some sauce or something to cover the ‘rubber bucket’ taste as I hate to waste any food. Any suggestions? And so ends the first of many lessons on collecting rain water from the deck. Stay tuned for more episodes. 

One other exciting thing happened this morning during the squalls was I saw a big flying fish. Other news you may not be aware of is that there is a tropical cyclone developing above me. We’re closely monitoring it, and its path has not yet been defined. I’m not sure if it even has a name yet. Stay tuned! I’m due to be becalmed here this afternoon but for now there is a 5-10 knot breeze from the south and the seas have flattened out so we are still ghosting along at 3.5 kts. Go West Wind Go!

My great mood today is a direct result of your warm love and affection Marylou and I want to thank you for that and tell you that I love you madly, not crazy madly but enthusiastic madly. But I am crazy about you. 







  1. David Anidjar- Romain says

    The Scots put salt in their porridge. If you do that already, try more! That may help to mask the rubber taste.Keep it up!David

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