Monday, October 18, 2004

Monday Morning.

I ( Hamish) am back in Hong Kong. I left Mitch & the boat in Tufi on Friday as there was a seat on Fridays flight but probably not on Mondays (the flights are 3 days/week) So I stayed in Pt. Moresby Friday night and flew to Cairns & Hong Kong Saturday.

Tufi is dive resort in a fjord on Cape Nelson. It is well protected from the sea and SBIV is on a mooring just off the jetty. As I left Mitch was about to load 1000 litres of diesel and look at strengthening the mounting of the steering hydraulics - the wood has split and allows the cylinder to move which misaligns the shaft and causes binding. We noticed because the autopilot was struggling to move the wheel at times.

Flying over the Coral sea to Cairns it did not look so rough - but the surf on the Barrier Reef looked impressive. With the steering fixed and a couple of extra hands Mitch should be able to get from Tufi to Cairns in 4-5 days.

I will edit earlier posts and add pictures in the next few days and add more comment about the whole trip from HK to PNG.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Wednesday 13 October 2004
Here is 2 days report again.
Tuesday 12
I was on the phone when Hamish phoned so he left this message. A very rough crossing (glad I was not there) 15ft sea and water breaking over the bow of Seabiscuit (must be really rough) force 7 Not Fun. They are now tucked b hind Muwo in a good anchorage but still bumpy. Position 8 40 S 150 E .
Hamish spoke to friend in Oz, Jim Chambers, and the weather in the Coral sea is due to continue gale force and out of South , through to atleast next week . So new plan is to head for coast of PNG For some repairs Toilet fridge and Steering.

Hamish & Mitch glad to be out of Solomon Sea. They are off Ferguson Is and have been visited by people from the local village coming out to barter veg for toys washing up liquid and other stuff. Anchored in a Lagoon , but still 6 foot swell. They are heading for Tufi were there will be moorings diesel and they will be able to do some more of the repairs. The fridge has been fixed and I think the toilet, it is mainly the steering that need sorting out now.
Owing to the bad weather Hamish will have to leave the boat before they get to Oz and from Tufi Hamish will hopeful be able to get to Port Moresby and arrange flight to HK and then on to UK . Mitch will also be able from here to arrange for friends to help take Seabiscuit IV the rest of the way. They are looking forward to a more peaceful anchorage to catch up on sleep.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Monday 11 Oct
Hi this is yesterday’s log in( I was busy).
H & M Left Rabaul Is weather not good and had enough of Volcanic smell, know in Solomon Sea position 6 16 S 152 22 E wind strong but from south so heading into it (typical) so motor sailing in rough weather. Pot noodles is on the menu for dinner to rough for any thing else. Of course toilet has to give trouble at just the right (wrong) time. They are heading for Louisiades Is and hope to do some diving there. They had some flying fish on deck in the morning but no recipe for that so throw them back. No Up date to day should have one tomorrow.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Friday 8 October 2004
No up date yestureday Thursday, They are now moored in Rabaul Is, not anchored as holding was not good, sea floor is volcanic rock. They had good motor with some sailing in the moon light night.

The town is still only ½ rebuilt after last major volcanic eruption but they managed find some shops and got some supplies. One of the volcanos is still smoking so very dramatic. They are going to eat at the yacht club to night so that will make a change. Hamish off to look for a spare fuel filter as think they picked up bad fuel in HK of the fuel barges that supply for fishing boat.
They are going to stay here till Sat evening or Sunday morning. They are at there most Easterly point and will now be heading SW to Cairns which should take about a week. Will give more info on that route tomorrow (I do not so short hand).

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Wednesday 6 Oct
Sorry here are 2 days up dates.
Tuesday 5 Oct (for Monday up date)
Hamish & Mitch spent 24 hrs on the Ninigo Is , they said it was very interesting and meet a family that invited them to there Isl for dinner, so people very friendly. They are now heading for Lorengau as it is a good size town and they hope to get fresh supplies. They hope to get there by lunch time tomorrow.
It was wet last night and is wet at the moment but they are sailing along so that should make up for it. They have been at sea one month now and have covered about 2700 miles. Their position is 1 207 S 145 19 E.
Wednesday 6 (for Tuesday up date)
They are now in Lorengau (got there lunch time Tuesday) and have know cleared in to PNG. The officials + Mitch who picked them up from shore in the dinghy got caught in a heavy down pour, but they got cleared no problem.
Hamish went ashore for shopping and also got new squid for fishing with, though they caught a small tuna on way.
They are now (afternoon there) about to head for Rabaul Island which should take them about 2 days as it’s about 300 miles they are sailing/motoring leaving New Britain to starboard.
Well they say very one is helpful & friendly so that's good to hear as one hears all sorts of stories some bad and some good; great that it seems the good ones are the ones to believe. More later

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Sunday 3 Oct 04
Hamish rang 8.30 this morning with up date as follows they have crossed the Equator and are 0 26 S 143 20E 730 miles from Palau (that is in 4 days not made going) They are about 70 miles from the Hermit Islands which they are hoping to explore tomorrow. Since entering the southern hemisphere the winds are SE trades light and on the nose (so they are motoring) sea lumpy and its Cloudy &wet. All well and things tick along nicely. More tomorrow.

Saturday 2 Oct.
Sorry this late had a few problems logging on the other day but to day it has worked.
Hamish & Mitch left Palau on Wednesday morning early to catch the tide, and plan was: Next leg is 875 miles so we should be in PNG about Tues - but I will phone on the way. We are considering not entering at Weewak - looks unattractive so may stick to
the islands off the coast - Lorengau island (Manus).
Thursday 30 Sept they were 210 Miles from Palau 4degrees 55 N 136degrees 51E (if you are plotting their route) they had an east flowing equatorial counter- current so were going along very nicely at 8-9 knot
There is change of plans they are now heading for Manus Is and then on to Cairns.
They caught 2 fish (the one that got away) Dolphin fish and a Sail fish that performed well before they let it go. Auto pilot working well.
Today s up date Sat 2 October 2004 got this morning, they are 1 9N `4` 25E 555 miles from Palau heading for Ninigo which is 200miles in front. They have showers around and sea is getting lumpy and not much wind and all is well.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

A Day of Achievements !

1. Mitch collected the autopilot without paying duty
2. It was exactly the same as the damaged unit so transfering the wires across was simple.
3. It worked exactly as the previous one - so we have a working autopilot.
4. We found that the problem with the saltwater pressure pump was a broken micro switch.
5. The Yamaha dealer nearby had a spare switch - an exact match.
6. The pump works again so we once again have flush water and salt to the sink.
7. We filled the fuel tanks buying 480 gallons of diesel.
8. We persuaded Quarantine Dept. to let us have our frozen meat today by promising not to cook it before we left Palau waters.
9. We did our shopping.
10. I think I solved the problem with the power to the back deck tripping the circuit breaker.

So we are ready to leave on the high tide tomorrow morning for the 875 miles to Weewak in Papua New Guinea. Should be there about Tuesday.

We will pass updates through phone to Pauline along the way.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Monday evening

We both wnet out for a dive trip today - first dive at the Blue Holes - not great as the surf was too big to go in from the top of the holes, visibility was lower than usual and when we tried to continue to Blue Corner the current was not cooperative.

After lunch however we went back to Blue corner itself and it was is great condition - just right current, lots of sharks, an eagle ray, Naploean wrasse - not 'Sweety' this time - baracudas . A good dive - photo below is Mitch looking over edge at Blue Corner.

And the spares package has arrived but Mitch is disputing the tax Palau Gov. wants to collect - but we will have it in the morning and test it out after we go to the dock for another 2000L + of diesel. We covered the 1800 miles from HK to Palau using about half our fuel - reconfirming the boats range is over 3500 miles.

A a Taxi driver came by the dive shop today with my credit card that had fallen from my pocket in his car as I was paying yesterday - a lucky day !

Wednesday morning high tide is 8am so we plan an early start to take the ebb tide out of the harbour.

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