[OcelotNews] Ocelotians Roaring Along //WL2K

KD7NDG at Winlink.org KD7NDG at Winlink.org
Fri May 22 02:17:00 PDT 2015

Dear Friends & Family,     22 May 2015, E Indonesia

Today began at 5:30, with just a faint glow to the east heralding the coming day.  Jon crawled out of bed & started the engines warming up, then started hoisting the mainsail.  Sue checked all the hatches & helped Jon with the last of the main before opening the chain locker & starting to raise the anchor.  By 5:45 the anchor was up & we were scooting around the reef to get on our course to the SW.

We're headed basically for Dili, on East Timor, but that's still several hundred miles away.  We've been anchored off the SW corner of the Kai Archipelago for a few days, waiting to jump off for the north end of the Tanimbar Archipelago, a crossing of some 72nm.  We've been watching our weather files, waiting for a day when the SE trades would be a bit more out of the east (with no rain).

A note here on distances: We use nautical miles (nm) which are 1 minute of latitude (so 60 minutes x 360 degrees = 21,600nm around the world).  For our land-based readers, a nautical mile is ~15% longer than a statute mile, or just under 2km (the original definition for a kilometer was the distance from the equator to the pole divided by 10,000, so 40,000km around the world).

Now, 72nm doesn't seem far to those used to cars & highways, but remember that we typically sail at 5-6 knots, 10% the speed of a car & only 1% the speed of a plane - which explains our early start (our cruising buddies on Per Ardua left yesterday evening & sailed all night, as they didn't want to risk arriving in the dark).

But today was Ocelot's kind of day.  The wind was 17-22 knots from just forward of the beam, one of our fastest points of sail.  With our full working sails up, Ocelot scooted along happily at 8-10 knots(!) for most of the day.  Clouds of startled flying fish scattered in front of her, flying inches above the waves, sometimes for hundreds of feet.  The tropical blue sky above sported dozens of small puffy clouds drifting NW on business of their own.  It was a glorious sail!

Unfortunately, Per Ardua radioed us to say that the harbor-master where they'd anchored was corrupt, & was trying to extort money from them, a sadly common practice in some ports.  So we bypassed that anchorage & their cute little town & anchored off the southern end of Pulau Molu.  As usual, a boatload of village men (& a child) came out to visit, but they didn't speak any English, & not much Bahasa Indonesia (which is often a 2nd or 3rd language for them).  But we invited them on board & they looked around for a few minutes before heading back to their village with big smiles on.

We're now anchored at the south end of the northernmost island of the Tanimbars.  As always, you can see our position at http://www2.winlink.org:8081/maps/positionReports.aspx?callsign=KD7NDG

Fair Winds & Calm Seas  --  Jon & Sue    s/v Ocelot
http://HackingFamily.com    http://svOcelot.com
Skype: sv-ocelot   US Worldwide Phone: +1-206-923-9714

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