Sunday, 9 December 2012

Upwind passage

We left Kavieng almost 2 1/2 days ago and we are currently just north of Admiralty Islands (Manus) which is a bit over halfway to Hermit Islands (200 miles done so far, 150 to go still). We're making slow progress as the wind has mostly been on our nose and it usually dies at night. The first night we at least had about 2 knots of current with us, so we were still moving along, but last night there was none, and we were literally bobbing around. At times we almost welcomed the frequent squalls, as they usually bring along wind, although we never know from which direction or how much. We're also quite happy to at least have wind during the day and don't mind beating into it and luckily Sophia is also quite capable of it. We are hoping to stay a few days at Hermit Islands and maybe also Ninigo Islands before heading north to Palau, so we have to make sure we have enough diesel until then, hence why we don't just motor through the lulls.

Last night a bit before sunset a bird (maybe booby, not sure) came to rest on Sophia, at first on the solar panel, but a little later it moved into the comfort of the cockpit, although still in a corner furthest away from the hatch. After much grooming of its feathers, it stuck its head into one wing and slept all night. It took off a little after sun rise. It was fun and interesting to watch, but it was also quite a smelly visitor, though thankfully the rain had washed away most the mess it made.

Kavieng was a pleasant stop and we stayed four days. The best part was the water was quite clean and inviting (and no crocs!) so cooling off was great. Usually when anchored near a town the water is too dirty for our liking. Close to the anchorage was also an interesting Second World war plane wreck that we could snorkel. It's situated at 7 meters and is quite complete still and had good reef and fish life around it.

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