GOING BACKWARDS and DIESEL MATH
11 August 2011 | Western Arafura Sea
The wind is up! Screaming along at 1 knot and checking the chartplotter as to exactly where I am after twisting and turning and going every which way, I notice, somewhat bemused, that I am approaching where I was... yesterday!
Some may ask...'Well, why dont you simply motor?' The answer lies in the math of diesel and engines. Total diesel on board between the boat's tanks and the extra tanks in the hold is about 344 liters. At 1400 rpms I burn about 2 liters(1/2 gallon) of diesel an hour. That gives me 172 hours of motoring. Every hour at those rpms I go about 4 miles. 172 hours times 4 miles = 688 miles. That is the range of the boat under engines - now. Christmas Island is, as we speak, 1263 miles.
So, unless chased by snakes, going backwards or not, its better to heed the math!