The Underwater Volcano Was A Bust

It’s noon Saturday local time, and Sophie left Gizo 21 hours ago. We have covered 132 nautical miles during that time. Current position is 07.00.816 South, 154.54.437 East. All of this distance has been covered while running on just one of the engines at a time @ 2200 RPM. We seem to have a bit of a current pushing us and are averaging above 6 knots. Our fuel consumption is low, and the ride is quite comfortable. There is no wind to speak of.

Our planned highlight for yesterday was trolling directly over an underwater volcano. The water around here is quite deep, but we were told of an underwater volcano that is on the charts 26 miles north of Liapari. It’s summit is just 100 feet below the surface, and it spews warm water that makes the local fish go crazy. Our goal was to troll directly over it and land a nice yellowfin. Unfortunately, since we cleared out of Gizo at 3:00 PM, it was 8:30 and after dark by the time we reached the volcano, so we trolled over its alleged location in the dark. Leo and Hazel stayed up for the event, there was lightning flashing in the distance, and we had no idea what to expect. Would we see a red glow beneath us? Plumes of steam? What if there had been a recent magma buildup and the summit was just 5 feet beneath the surface instead of 100? What if we caught a mako shark in the dark?

So what happened? Nothing. Charts here are a little off, and we never saw the volcano on the depth sounder. We must have just missed it it. No disturbance on the surface. No magma. No fish.

But it was nice to hang out after dark up top with Leo and Hazel, listening to them read to each other in the early moonlight. And Lauren had just made a curry with coconut crab and mahi mahi that was spectacular. So we are not complaining.

This morning was dark and squally, and the wind was too variable to keep a sail up for any length of time. Jenna directed the kiddies in Sophie school, I installed a new bilge pump and float switch, and also did some water maker maintenance. Lauren drove the boat while scrubbing bird poop off the deck in the rain. (She’s a rock star.) In other words, another normal passage day.

Our last few days in Liapari were quite relaxing. We got to know Noel and Rose, the couple who run the little shipyard there. The two cats from Africa were there as well. We even all hung out for an impromptu Halloween party on Thursday night.
Our highlight for today will be when we pass over an area on the chart labeled “Planet Deep”, which apparently has 25,859 feet between Sophie’s keel and the ocean floor. Unfortunately we won’t get there until after dark and I will be a little reluctant at that time to hop into the water for a quick dip once the sun is down. Sharks, you know. But I will definitely toss something (organic) into the water.

The adventures continue.

3 thoughts on “The Underwater Volcano Was A Bust

  1. Hi Jenna. I see you were with Miki and Rowland in Liapari. We haven’t heard from them and everyone is desperately worried. Finding your blog has allayed our concerns somewhat, but if you could let us know when you last saw them or how we can get hold of them we would be so grateful. Thank you! Emma (emma@emmasadleir.com or +27834074262)

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