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Sea Child: Big Cat Sailing Around the World
Tales of our journey around the world aboard our 56' Catamaran, Sea Child.
Dugong Search
05/16/2012, 16 35'S:168 09'E, Lamen Bay, Epi Island, Vanuatu

Quiet anchorage where Sea Child is the only boat around. The village has a wonderful high school built in cooperation with Australia and the soccer fields and basketball courts look amazing! Paradise Sunset Bungalows were quiet with only 3 guests that the local ferry drops off at 1:00am. Weather is overcast, winds SE to 25, rain expected today. Hope to find the elusive Dugong that comes into the little bay to eat the sea grass. Setting sail before noon today for Ambrym Island, anchorage 30 miles north.

Sailing North
05/15/2012, 17 03'S:168 22'E, Emae Island, Sulua Bay, Vanuatu

As we work our way north towards Santo, we are now anchored in Sulua Bay, Emae Island, Shepherd Group, Vanuatu. Our sailing yesterday saw boat speeds of 14.8 as we close reached up to these remote islands north of Eftate and Port Vila. The skies are cloudy and winds gusty to 20. Emae Island has a population of 750 people and 3 rather large cell towers hover over the main village. We will be pulling anchor this morning to continue our sail north, next destination expected this afternoon is Epi Island.

Vanuatu Arrival
05/03/2012, 17 44'S:168 18'E, Port Vila, Vanuatu

The sailing to Vanuatu from Fiji was superb! We hit a speed record of 19.4 knots yesterday afternoon, and by night fall, we had dropped the big screecher to try to slow down Sea Child for a daylight arrival. We had anticipated a 60 hour crossing, which we had, but we also expected to arrive after sunrise. Efate Island came into view early this morning, pre-dawn, as we continued to sail along at 10 knots plus boat speed. The steady SE winds pushed us along, and by 7:00 am we rolled up the jib, stowed the screecher, and prepared for our anchor drop at the Q dock at Port Vila. The arrival process includes a dinghy ride to Customs, located across this picturesque bay to the large ship pier. After Customs, another dinghy ride into Port Vila proper was necessary to visit Immigration.

Sea Child continues to amaze us with her power through the water. As we sat on the lower swim steps yesterday during the crossing and ran our toes through the rushing waves, we realize how very lucky we are to experience what some people can only dream about. The peaceful yet exhilarating crossing allowed us all to clear our minds of mundane issues and focus on the incredible experience of an open ocean crossing. We are preparing for our discovery of Vanuatu with its many islands, but will always cherish the memory of the open ocean, and the power of Sea Child, 19.4 knots and all.

Mid-Morning Update
05/02/2012, 17 33'S:171 25'E, West of North Fiji Plateau

Sea Child continues her westward run towards Vanuatu, with boat speeds averaging 10+ knots. Winds are SE at 18 knots, full main with screecher, port tack, course bearing 252 degrees, seas 4-6'. Some waves have Sea Child surfing up to 16 knots, almost too fast to keep the fishing lures in the water! We are 174 miles from our destination on Efate Island, Vanuatu. ETA 16 hours from now.

05/02/2012 | carter
Sounds like a fun run! wish i was there...
Dawn Postition
05/02/2012, 17 31'S:172 08'E, North Fiji Plateau

Changed sails again during the night, now sailing along at 8 knots with the big screecher and winds behind us 15-18 SE. ETA Vanuatu 23 hours.

Aloha from the Sea
05/02/2012, 17 34'S:173 36'E, North Fiji Plateau

Aloha from Sea Child!

We are currently 196 nautical miles from the reef exit at Fiji, sailing on a course of 260 degrees with winds 20 knots on our port quarter. We are broad reaching and surfing along nicely at an average of 10 knots. After clearing out of Lautoka yesterday, we motored to Monoriki Island and enjoyed a delicious dinner just off Castaway Beach. The clear skies and half moon illuminated the beach nicely, and around 11pm last night we finally cleared the reef. It was slow going as we steamed toward the western reef, with Lindsay on the sonar down below, Steve & Tamara on each bow looking through the clear water at the rocks just 9 meters below us, and Eric at the helm. Once outside the reef, the main was hoisted as was the big screecher, and finally, we bid a fond farewell to Fiji.

The weather forecast is for 10-15 knot winds through tomorrow with scattered tradewind showers. With our good friends Steve & Lindsay Robins on board Sea Child for this passage, we are enjoying a watch system with 3 hours on watch and 9 hours off. Its wonderful for us to have good sailors join us since they have covered some ocean miles themselves aboard their sloop Jemellie, which they left back at Vuda Marina in Fiji. They are both from the English island of Jersey just off the western French coast, where Steve restored homes and Lindsay is a pharmacist. They continuously regale us with tales of their antics from Jersey, France, and of course, the sea. They are amazed at the performance of Sea Child, her speed and her comforts, and we are thrilled to have them aboard.

Life at sea has us all reading, steering, sleeping and settling into a comfortable routine. Since the seas are light to moderate, the ride is turning into a comfortable passage.

At our current pace, the gps has our ETA into Port Vila, Vanuatu in about 30 hours.


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