Morning Skeds on the Timor Sea
28 July 2013 | 11 06'S:125 40'E, Sahul Banks
For the past 46 hours, Sea Child has seen beautiful sailing conditions! This is a wonderful change from the radical sailing across the Top End of the Northern Territory of Australia. The Timor Sea is calm and peaceful, with gentle swells and light winds. While we would prefer more wind, the average wind speed has been around 8 knots SSE and therefore our boat speeds average 6 knots, we are thoroughly enjoying the sail and are in no particular rush for this passage to end. The rally has a morning radio net at 8:00am on the HF radio, and its fun to see where all the other boats are currently located, then place their position on our chart relative to our position. For the past two nights, the watches have us gazing at the amazing array of stars overhead, as well as wondering which vessel is that to our port or starboard. Then the morning roll call comes, and we learn that we have been sailing along with a power cat, Harmony 888, and keeping up with his speed. He must be surprised to see Sea Child on his port quarter at the 8:00am call!
A highlight of our crossing so far has been our interaction with a Catana 47, Zangezi, and the American family on board. During the last night dinner at Darwin, we were talking about how the So Good Lite Soy Milk tastes most like non-fat American cow's milk. We promised to give them a box of ours for their tasting, and with the rush of the rally start, did not get a chance to pass one along. As the sun was setting on Saturday night, we were enjoying our dinner on the bow of Sea Child, noticing the rally fleet scattered around us. And right up behind us came Zangezi, like a pirate ship in the night! Their two young children, son Gavin (13 yrs) and daughter Lindsay (8 yrs) positioned themselves on their starboard swim step as Tamara was on the port bow of Sea Child, soy milk in hand. With dad Doug on the controls of Zangezi and Eric on the controls of Sea Child, the pass off was made while sailing along at 5 knots, while mom Robin captured it all on camera! A thrilling moment for the kids on Zangezi, a successful pass at sea, and as twilight fell upon the fleet, Zangezi and Sea Child sailed along together for the next few hours, maybe 200 yards apart. During that first night, we eventually lost sight of Zangezi, but when we checked in with them the next morning, we learned that the hand off of the soy milk was one of the most exciting things Gavin has ever done on the sea, and it made his day! What a fun memory and we look forward to sharing the photos both boats took of each other once we arrive in Kupang.
Our purpose in joining the rally was to meet people, socialize more on Sea Child, and learn more about the westward options after SE Asia. In Darwin, we met the Sail Malaysia Rally representatives, and others from Malaysia who own marinas and shipyards. We also met a transport company, Seven Star Yacht Transport, which gives us the option to place Sea Child on a yacht carrier for transport through the Red Sea and up to Eastern Turkey. But we also have met very special people, other cruisers from all over the world, who are out here doing the same thing we are doing, enjoying the passages and building relationships. The peaceful, beautiful weather we are sailing through makes the experience that much more special. The mud green water of Darwin is long gone, and we now enjoy the blue waters of the Timor Sea. The morning visit by a large pod of spinner dolphins playing on Sea Child's bow makes it all perfect.
We are approximately 22 hours out of Kupang, Indonesia.