SV Irish Melody

26 June 2014 | 17 14.963'S:176 50.086'E, South of the Yasawas
23 June 2014 | 13 40.036'S:177 51.919'E, South of Rotuma
16 June 2014 | 08 31.477'S:179 11.432'E, Funafuti Atoll, Tuvalu
11 June 2014 | 06 21.740'S:177 10.005'E, West of Niutao
08 June 2014 | 04 34.534'S:175 20.080'E, North of Nanumea
04 June 2014 | 02 27.040'S:174 17.216'E, West of Tamana and Arorae, Southern Kiribati Group
01 June 2014 | 01 00.577'S:173 34.626'E, West of Nonouti, Southern Kiribati Group
30 May 2014 | 01 21.334'N:173 01.965'E, Parliament House, Ambo, Tarawa, Kiribati
23 May 2014 | 01 21.334'N:173 01.965'E, Parliament House, Ambo, Tarawa, Kiribati
18 May 2014 | 01 21.334'N:173 01.965'E, Parliament House, Ambo, Tarawa, Kiribati
05 May 2014 | 07 06.486'N:171 22.050'E, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI)
06 January 2014 | 07 06.486'N:171 22.050'E, Majuro - Marshall Islands
03 January 2014 | 05 38.276'N:171 38.759'E, South of Mili Atoll - Marshall Islands
29 December 2013 | 01 21.338'N:173 01.958'E, Ambo ┬- Parliament House ┬- Tarawa Lagoon.
23 December 2013 | Ambo, Tarawa Lagoon
13 January 2013 | off Ambo Village - Tarawa Lagoon
29 December 2012 | Near Banreaba - Parliament House - Tarawa Lagoon
21 December 2012 | 01 21.925'N:172 55.772'E, Betio Harbour, Tarawa, Kiribati
20 December 2012 | Southwest of Tarawa, Kiribati
18 December 2012 | Still south of Banaba -Pacific Ocean

Big Day out

25 November 2012 | 12 03.637'S:153 25.052'E, Near Taluga Island -Louisiades PNG - Coral Sea
Andy
Monday 26 November

Hey folk, not sure how your weekend has been but it has been rock and roll central here

for the last 24 hours plus. Rain squalls, winds gusting to nearly 30k, ships in the night

(and day), and seas to 3 metres have all put in an appearance. We have seen almost no rain

(true!) since we left Brisbane in September, apart from the occasional spit of light drops.

But this was the real McCoy ┬- 10 solid minutes of heavy rain, pounding the sea flat and

creating a shimmering mist over the undulating surface ┬- beautiful.

Earlier that night a small squall had jolted Tone out of his watch reverie (aka doze), and

had me scrambling out of my cosy dry berth and back on deck as the rising wind vibrated the

sails and rigging.

Not long after we had wiped the rain out of our eyes and settled IM into a new rhythm I

spotted three lights on the horizon, and they appeared to be coming straight for us. Only

hours earlier we had both commented on the lack of shipping we had seen since leaving Torres

Strait. We were starting to wonder if our AIS (automated identification system - recognizes

ships in vicinity and displays on electronic nav systems ) was still working. Time to find

out - we quickly fired up the i-pad and sure enough Azur Fortune was bearing down on us, at

a distance of 3nm and with a CPA (closest point of approach) of 270 metres! When you┬'re

11.4 metres long and a 50m widex300 metre long ship is going to be less than its boat length

away, you want to make dead sure of its course before you decide on evasive action ┬- even

more so at night in 20-25k of wind with a 2.5 metre swell.

Over the years we┬'ve heard stories and read blogs about sailors radio-ing ships frantically

to no avail, but it was still worth a go. A quick call and immediately the ship┬'s master

replied ┬- ┬"ah yes, sailing vessel, I can see you on my radar, I will alter course to go

behind you┬". Confirming his message back to him, we watched in fascination as this huge

coal carrier┬'s lights, now less than a mile away slowly altered direction and we both

started to pull away from each other. Once we were a safe distance away we radioed back to

thank him. ┬"No trouble, safe travels┬", he replied in a distinctly South American Spanish

accent, before disappearing into the night.

Azur Fortune was the first of 9 ships whose paths we crossed over the next 24 hours ┬- at one

stage 5 at once within the same hour ┬- all of them heading into or out of the ┬'short cut┬'

channel we had been too chicken to take┬....still glad we didn┬'t given the sea state, the high

winds and dicing with those big girls in amongst the reefs and tidal rips would have been

fun ┬- NOT! We ended up radio-ing three ships and each time were promptly responded to and twice the

master changed course for us, a much appreciated courtesy, while the third one didn┬'t need

to - we both just checked the passing protocol. I was very impressed and reassured, who

says they┬'re all asleep on these big ships? As if the day wasn┬'t already action packed enough, the highlight came when we filled out our

log ┬- we┬'d finally managed to crack the 100nm in 24 hours, both boat log and course over

ground, a bonus of strong consistent winds, even with the rock and roll action they bring.

Watch out ┬'corner┬', we are coming to get ya! We are now less than 10NM from our corner

waypoint. Hopefully by the time we upload this blog and you are reading it over your

morning coffee (or during lunch, not sure about time zones anymore) we will be ready to

round Taluga Island and head towards Gizo ┬- 300NM away, and ease the sails for the first

downwind sailing since leaving Darwin (fingers crossed!).

Hope your week starts well!

Photo note: AIS on i-pad showing all the ships, we are the blue triangle just nicking out of the way!
Comments
Vessel Name: Irish Melody
Vessel Make/Model: C&C Landfall 38
Hailing Port: Brisbane (formerly Santa Rosa)
Crew: Anthony (Tony) and Andrea Mitchell
About: Decided to act on our mid-life crisis and take a gap year....so 2012-13 will see us heading out into the Pacific via Thursday Island and the Solomon Islands.
Irish Melody's Photos - Main
Various shots 2012 taken from Irish Melody cockpit.
9 Photos
Created 26 October 2012
Images taken during passage from Darwin to Thursday Island 2012
52 Photos
Created 25 October 2012
Photos taken while sailing through Eastern Indonesia October 2011
23 Photos
Created 10 October 2011