Friday, May 28, 2010

BIG SURPRIZE and Lots of Luck Again......!

We finally started sailing at 1900 last night and had a good run at about 4-5kt. At around 11 am we hooked a small tuna that I had in pieces in minutes so we could down the lot ASAP..it was great and the liver was the sweetest which Chris and I enjoyed. As I came off watch around midday to get ready to take my first noon sight for many days, I looked over the side and thought WOW!..that is the bottom..sure enough we were watching the sand and coral slide past deep below..this was NOT expected..Chris donned goggles to see how deep and we estimated about 30 mtrs??..we were all eyes on the horizon while I waited for the sun to finish climbing in the sky..I asked Dave W if he was keeping a good lookout ..he said yes but nothing seen??..then in between sun shots I spotted a sand Cay!!!..NOT EXPECTED!!...that was the start of some interesting events...in the end the noon sight confirmed we were nearly 70 miles further south than expected and that then concluded that it was probably Diane Bank, which meant that we were also about 65 miles further west than expected!!...

I am not the pedantic navigator like Bligh I admit and having gone through many cloudy days with no sight ,then Kidney stones etc..then calms etc..I have not been refreshing the latitude and we do not look at the one chart we have on board very often....it is only for planning purposes..this chart covers an area from 175 west to 100 east..or from 600 miles west of Australia to 400 miles east of Tonga..so is of no real value, but is something of an equivalent to the navigational info the Bligh had with his publications giving the then known Lat/Long of the key points he needed.

We also have the challenge of wanting to get to Restoration Island..through the same boat Pass that Bligh used..Bligh just wanted to get to the Australian coast below Torres straight..so our challenge is a little different. In an obscure way Dave P. and I are really enjoying the challenge/risk of flying a little blind//..but we also know again it could have been a little different if we hit that Cay..surrounded by reef in the middle of the night..

Anyway our game plan has always been to approach Bligh's boat Pass from the SE. We do not want to get caught with the wrong wind direction in the last days as we do not sail well to windward..that is why we are south of Bligh's course and are now making our war up toward the pass...it was time to make any final approach course changes today..but we got caught we think by the currents during the calm..they may have sent us south..the further distance to the west could be us underestimating our speed or the extra current too..all part of the unknown we face...anyway we know that Osprey and Shark reef are right on our path now so we must be vigilant..we looked at the chart to confirm everything today so at least we have a new known departure point and I am happy about that..I will take a noon sight now every day to check our progress north and we continue to religiously fill out the log every hour..so like Bligh it is fingers crossed...someone was watching over us again..

When we think we are withing the last 100 miles we will use the GPS to locate and navigate through boat Pass as that is the only way we can do it...if we were just Bligh we would wait till we get to the reef , sail north along it till we came to a good pass and slip in..but we want Bligh's Pass..no option!

Dave is about to do his Blog below on the days events..but last night on our watch there was a noddy tern trying to land on the boat..I said to Chris put you arm out and he will land on it...he did..and it did but at the point of landing the camera flash scared him away..it is fun out here..

Currently 20kts SE wind,1mtr sea,26c,sailing at 4-5kts..and getting ready for a special dinner....Don

1 comment:

Reine said...

I'm confused...noon sights do not tell where you are east to west...I am also confused by "no charts, no navigational equipment, no unscheduled stops"...

I keep reading this site and am very interested, but am let down by the fact that Don is NOT doing what he said he was going to do...I hope at the end he does NOT get off the boat and then profess to the media how he did this so much better than the other groups and "just like Bligh."

Any sailor with basic celestial navigation can tell that Don is not navigating with a sextant...and coordinates have to be coming from somewhere else.