'PLACE YOUR BETS'
18 August 2011 | Paralleling the Indonesian Coast-5 days to Christmas
As massive ocean swells roll in from the south, I consult a chart and see that the Australian continent is now fully behind leaving nothing between myself and that famous, inhospitable, lonely place-the Southern Ocean. My breath is almost taken away as these masses of water roll toward me. I struggle to describe them . imagine a large sloping hillside of grass as far as your eye can see, a hill you couldn't possibly look over. Then imagine that whole entity start to slowly move toward you blotting out everything as it approaches except its looming slope. It gently lifts you higher and higher until from its peak you can see the other side... and endless expanse. That's what Im experiencing here. Awe-inspiring and telling me I am now solidly in the Indian Ocean.
Since leaving Cairns, we have traveled 2000 miles. I have given Christmas Island Customs the required 96 hours notice and estimate 4-5 days before anchor down in Flying Fish Cove.
Not so enchanting - the abominable floating fishing nets are back. These navigational hazards are put out by the Indonesian fisherman. They simply float free, I know, I just passed one not 200 feet off my starboard side. If encountered by a small boat such as mine, it can stop one dead in one's tracks causing damage to props and keels and rudders. The tiny buoys that accompany them are invisible to radar and cannot be seen at night - we play a rather unpleasant game of Indonesian roulette out here.
"Place your bets, Ladies and Gentlemen."