//WL2K Indian Ocean Day 2

Hi all,
Storm Petrel is on 12.31S 94.44E or about 127nmi W of Cocos Keeling.
We made a getaway there yesterday noon and been since sitting in 20-25kts ESE. Unfortunatley the swell is confused with 3m height and a period of 9s so its very bumby and there has been bouts of mal-de-mer.
Cocos has been a very awesome stop but now we are adjusting to life at sea again. Logging good miles. Everything is working and a partly unfurled genoa keeps hull speed or near hull speed. Till later,
Storm Petrel

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Cocos Keeling

4 days and 530 pleasant sailing miles later and we turned into the striking blue lagoon at the Cocos Islands. First day out of Christmas was fast and rough, all following days where very calm at 10-13kts and a bit slow and the last day was quick in 15-20kts but the short waves made it a little rolly. Good passage.Now we are here and its the tropical paradise it was promised to be. Crystal clear waters with curious black tip sharks circling the boat when we anchored, an uninhabited island ashore and – The name is of course spot on – Coconuts aplenty. Need to get into practice again. In other news, there is wifi ashore and check in was like -on the radio- “oh yeah nah you be alright”

Christmas Is to Cocos – Day 3

Pos 11.30S 99.43E, SOG 5-6kts, Wind 15-17ESE, Seas confused but low, cloudy. fresh tortillas, ryvita and soft cheese, tuna stir fry

Ahoy !

Day 3 sees us 170nmi from Cocos and 360 from Ci. It was clear last night but yesterday we had our first rain (since Queensland somewhere?) and this morning it looks we getting a little bit more.

Wind died to less then 10kts yesterday afternoon so we unpacked the main and sailed wing to wing with the big genoa on the pole, ok speed but sails slatting a fair bit. Now it freshened up again and we are moving fast but its rolly.

Nasi Goreng for breakfast and i think if will try Knoephla later. Needless to say, being the little fatty that i am, im thinking a lot about food. Claire is reading a lot, i watch a lot of Docu’s so the days are passing. Storm Petrel out.

Christmas Island

5 days from Bali in 15-20 wind brought us to the shores of Christmas Island. Where planning to arrive during daylight hours but then we fetched a fairly strong current 150nmi out and even the drouge couldn’t prevent us from getting here at 4am.Christmas Island has been magic so far. We fetched one of the 9 moorings out at Flying Fish Cove and then had a little explore through the settlements – Kampong, “the settlement” and poon saan, we swum in the lovely clear waters of the bay and then today a friend from perth who grew up here arranged trough her parents a car and we been driving around seeing all the beaches, waterfalls and the massive craps loitering around everywhere ! Red crabs, small crabs, massiverobber crabs the size of a football – most roads are even fenced and have crab crossings.Also quite remarkable are the birds – there dozens of Frigate Birds soaring along the cliffs of the anchorage as we speak with the odd boobies mixed in. Magic !

Indonesia ! Lombok and Bali

980nmi out from Darwin brought us to the entry of the Lombok Straight, where the Indonesian outflow was in full swing unfortunately. Spring Tides i think. Unable to make any progress in 7-8kts adverse currents we waited in 2-3m standing waves for day light and then crept 100-200m off the rocks slowly northward, 12 nmi in 6 hrs, until we could turn right into Gilli Gede Marina to dock and clear in.

Had relaxing 6 days in there (waiting for our clearance really) in which my friend rowan came to visit us again, lots of good meals (in fact we hardly ever cooked while in Indonesia. Why at 1.5-4aud a meal?) A moto trip around the island of Lombok, a few boat jobs an then we where ready to explore some more.

First we sailed up to Gilli Air where took a mooring and explored the island a little (more the happy hour offerings to be precise) and also meet Iwona and Hanna which we then took with us on a sail to Medana Bay on the northern coast, after the swell, wash and business of Gilli Air, Medana Bay is heaven. Clear blue water and very still and peaceful.

7 hrs and 60nmi (!) got us from there to Bali, first we checked out Benoa and Bali Marina but didnt found it to appealling and a little expensive so we went Sengargarn (?), took a mooring there, hired a moto and went to check out of Indonesia which took us most of the day, 5 offices and a stack of paperwork later. Still, better then the 6 days and 100aud for the agent in lombok.

A little provisioning in the great supermarkets nearby and we where off, except that the skipper catches the Bali Belly and we had to delay a day to bring bodily functions back into control.

All in all a good visit, there are beautiful places in Indonesia, however in the more populated areas there is also a lot of pollution, traffic, filthy water.

Anyway, Storm Petrel back out to sea.

//WL2K Lombok Basin – Day 8

Lombok Basin – Day 8Pos 9.37S 117.12E just 35nmi south of SumbawaHello from aboard on day 8 out of Darwin.The sailing is still very good with winds from 12-17kts from astern, however a little swell has found its way here and we going a little rock and roll. However the crew is pretty seasoned now so besides a little light sleep at times we rarely spill the coffee or fly uncontrolled around the boat – and certainly no Mal-deMer.Heavy cloudcover in the morning tells us there might be land around somewhere. Masses of Flying fish jump away from Storm Petrel every now and then and we see the occasional indonesian fishing boat. Its a very peaceful journey.We also been trying to slow the boat down for a day or two. 2 days ago we had approx 285nmi to Lombok and so i thought we would probably needed to find our way into anchorage just after sunset which i do not prefer very much. So every since we been running around with 2 reefs and a furled headsail but we still run 6kts at times – so a very early monday morning arrival seams likely.all well.

//WL2K Timor Sea – Day 5

Timor Sea – Day 5

Pos 12.04S 123.00E, just a few miles north of Ashmore Reef.

Over the past couple of days heading west out of Darwin, the charts have highlighted a few milestones for Storm Petrel: we have crossed from the Timor Sea into the Indian Ocean; and we re-entered West Australian waters – a couple of thousand miles short of a circumnavigation of our continent. To date, we have navigated the waters of all coastal states and territories of Australia, and accumulated over 7000 sea miles since leaving Fremantle in November 2018, – and we haven’t even left Australia!

Feeling very comfortable and relaxed on board. The weather being a balmy 27 degrees, clear and sunny skies, and low humidity means that shirts havent been worn for a long time. The nights are bright as the full moon approaches, the wind and sea state so far has been fairly consistent night and day – very pleasant sailing running with the wind, with only a couple of gybes. We enjoy the company of whirling sea birds out fishing, while we dine on green veggie curry, or spam + veg pasta, or spam and veg stir fry with rice. The race is on to make the most of the fresh produce – tomatoes, carrots and capsicum are not faring well in these lower latitudes. A chilled watermelon will be a sensation. Thank you to those friends who have exchanged books with us, and filled our hard drive with documentaries, TV episodes and movies. We are devouring them as fast as the fruit and veg.

Not much shipping traffic beyond a day out of Darwin, and no other nearby recreational vessels to our knowledge – our only visit has been two fly-bys of the Australian Border Force plane. They buzz us quite close but no radio contact. Last sight of land was the afternoon we left Darwin.

All well aboard. Beautiful Sailing.