Some unexpected visitors


d'Albora's Action Project: AUS 360 Blog Update

Presented by Pivotel

Afternoon All,

Well it has been quite the eventful 24 hours I must say.  Yesterday just before sunset I happened to go on deck to re-trim the boat when I noticed a sail off my stern quarter.  I squinted at it and realised that it was a wooden dow sailing boat like what a lot of island communities use.  I was still so focused and the boat appeared to be about 5nm away so I set about adjusting the trip and moving away from the wind to sail a wind angle of 60 degrees and go for speed over height.  As I reached for the windward sheet I got quite a shock to see a second wooden dow just over a mile from me sailing on a parallel course to me.  My initial reaction was that I had sailed into a fishing ground and I searched the waters around me for any more vessels that I may have missed.  Coming up clear I altered the trip of the boat and bared away 20 degrees as this would take me further from this dow and give me greater speed.  

Once I was making ground on them and pulling away I started to realise that none of my alarms were triggered.  My radar didn’t pick them up as they are a wooden craft so there is nothing to reflect from.  It was a shock and not one that I am very comfortable with given that I was alone on my yacht and 100nm from land.  Given that darkness was falling and these boats were close and heading the same way as me I didn’t feel all that comfortable about the chances of me running out of wind and them not having honest intentions.  Feeling uneasy I contacted the local Australian Border Force Aircraft to confirm what these vessels were.  It turns out that there is a box section of the ocean that I had just sailed through that was given a MOU by the Australian Government for Indonesia's Fisherman to to fish in.  Knowing that I wish I had a better look at their boats because they looked amazing from afar, all hand crafted with blue sails, but I was also glad to have pulled away from them and sailed clear of the area before it was too late in the night.

Following on from my shock I had another bird visit the Feathered Inn for the night which kept me entertained.  It was the same type of bird as Simon but it was quite content even though I tacked the boat multiply times through the night it would just hop to the other side and go back to sleep.  The winds were shifty and I had a really cool lightning storm not too far from me so I ended up doing a tack every hour or so but I also had to alter my course quite a lot and in the end I wasn’t able to get to my bunk until after 4am so today I am a little sleepy.

The winds today also went through a marrid of changes and I am now sailing with NNW winds in a very light breeze of 5 knots so my speed hasn’t been the best and it has again become very hot today with the light winds.

Thanks to the following Sponsors for all their continued support: d’Albora Marinas, Pivotel  B&G, Australian Geographic, Zhik , Park Fuels, Karver, 3M, White Bay 6 Marine Park, and Great Circle Life Raft