Well, it’s kind of hard for us to top yesterday’s adventure. Right now we are cruising through the flat Bismarck Sea along the sunny New Ireland coast, enjoying a quiet 24 hours since our last blog update.
Sophie’s current position is 03.40.452 South, 151.48.232 East. We’ve covered 137 nautical miles in the last 24 hours, almost all of it motoring under one engine. Kavieng is 90 miles away, and we are now just 220 miles south of the equator. We are officially north of the South Pacific tropical cyclone belt.
People on the boat are tired. I just completed my longest morning nap of the trip after doing a 5 1/2 hour night shift. The kids and Jenna are working hard at school, and Lauren is up top, seeking a combination of shade and breeze under the bimini. Leo is taking a regular afternoon shift now, which means regular afternoon naps for the grownups. It helps a lot. On my shifts I am watching movies (King Kong, Fight Club, Planet of the Apes, Braveheart, Talladega Nights) and listening to music (Matthew Sweet, Roxy Music, Beyonce, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.) And playing Tetris. Lots of Tetris.
Last night we motored through Saint Georges Channel, which separates New Britain from New Ireland. The volcano that erupted in Rabaul in September is located here, but it was dormant. We could see the glow from two separate magma fields on the horizon as we ghosted through the strait in the dark. Combined with the vivid starlight and flashes of lightning in the distance, it made for quite a view.
In the afternoon we were briefly joined by either a VERY LARGE dolphin or a small, curious whale. It had dark skin, a blunt nose, and was 12-15 feet long. It swam under the boat the way dolphins do. But it was big. Really big. Jenna has a couple of good photos.
For dinner, Jenna made penne in a red sauce with tuna, olives, and parmesan. It was delicious. Tuna is definitely on Sophie’s menu for the next couple of months.
Given our current weather, it appears that a high pressure system has settled in. I personally can do without another rain squall until we are anchored in the lagoon at Kavieng. Then it can rain intensely once a day. Preferably in the afternoon, during my nap.
We still have half of our diesel left even though we have motored 400 miles. Good thing we don’t have a fuel nozzle that we can accidentally leave in the water. We have other things we can do to accidentally spill diesel. 🙂 We did a load of laundry and ran the dish washers a few times, and I am currently operating the water maker/bilge waterfall to top off the tanks given the calmness of our passage.
Hopefully we’ll be writing to you tomorrow from Kavieng.