Back in the Southern Hemisphere
16 June 2008 | 0 05.86'S:105 38.59'E, South China Sea
Back in the Southern hemisphere 16th June 2008 9.30am local time Position: 00.05.86S 105.38.59E
At 8.15am this morning we crossed the equator for the 2nd time since we left Australia last November. No silly celebrations this time - just spaghetti for breakfast. It looks a bit like winter out there as it is grey and overcast. It's still warm of course. The photo shows our chart plotter just after we crossed the equator. You will also notice our track has been a big 'dogs leg' and that the wind had died down and we were only doing 3 knots. Last night however we were going very well averaging 6knots with wind speeds around 15 knots. Bill even put a reef in the main. The down side was that our bed was extremely uncomfortable - sloping the wrong way (heeling to starboard) and very bouncy as Valiam skipped through the waves. Linda slept an hour or so in the main saloon.
Our new autopilot 'Mona Lisa' is still moaning every so often but apparently that's normal. Another yachtie friend of ours said he was on a yacht once whose autopilot sounded like a moose braying! Anyway she's doing a good job keeping us on course. The motor is currently running to boost the battery power as well as increase our speed from 3 to 5 knots.
During the day when we are not sleeping we eat, read books, navigate and of course watch for ships. At night when on watch we stay near the cockpit watching for the ships. A couple of them have come quite close crossing our bow a few hundred metres away. It's still difficult at times to work out which way they are going until the port or starboard lights can be seen. The new portable DVD player is great for when on night watch. Watching movies during those hours makes the time go quicker and is much easier on the eyes than trying to read.
We still have lots of fresh food in the little fridge including 3 packets of fresh meat, smoked salmon, bacon, packet of prepared burgers, packet of prepared sates, lots of cheese(cheddar, brie, parmesan and yoghurt. We've been using longlife milk since we left Oz and are quite used to the flavour now. Fresh fruit and veges include rocket, cabbage, capsicum, cucumber, tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, green pawpaw, green bananas,apples, mandarins. We also have 3 loaves of rye bread and 2 dozen eggs. The boat is also full of tins and packets to prepare food for at least 6 months! There is a bit of a shortfall of wine (too expensive in SE Asia) but there is still gin and rum from the Philippines. We did enjoy a glass of red California wine last night at sunset to go with the tomato, garlic and basil pasta. For those of you who are still at 'w..' (that 4 letter word) and dream of doing what we are doing it is not difficult. There are lots of ordinary people like us sailing arou nd the world. It is a sense of freedom to be totally self sufficient when out at sea but then again one must be devoted to one's boat keeping her safe and maintained at all times. All well on board