We finally left Kavieng yesterday around 3:00 PM after filling both diesel tanks to the brim plus the additional 2 20 liter tanks Leo and I bought at the Hardware Haus. We motored on both engines for 20 miles to get past the local reefs and underwater mine fields before dark, then switched to running on one motor at 2100 RPM, which is our new long distance cruising mode when there is no wind.
We’ve been driving this way for the last 21 hours, heading due west.
We have a little bit of excitement to report as we do our noontime position, which 02.43.407 South, 148.47.045 East.
To port there is a huge squall that’s been traveling parallel with us for a while. We can see its black wall of rain 2 miles away, but it is being polite and keeping its distance. To starboard on the horizon are two oil wells, each producing a large amount of black smoke. Directly ahead of us is a 10 foot long metal can anchored to the water, surrounded by swarming birds and small schools of tuna. At first I thought it was a F.A.D (Fish Attraction Device), but that makes no sense since we are 50 miles from the nearest land. I assume it has something to do with the oil rigs. We made a few passes through the fish schools with a line in the water. We could see them jumping on the surface. They were foot-long tuna. No hits though, including our not hitting the can. Glad we spotted it during daytime.
We’ve covered about 135 miles in the last 21 hours. Jayapura is only 483 miles away. We may make a pit stop at the Hermit Islands, which is a part of PNG and is only 233 miles to the Northwest. Our friends on Per Ardua are heading there, and it might be fun for the kiddies to swim with their kiwi friends. We can also supply Per Ardua with fuel and water.
That’s it. Dinner tonight will be pancetta-wrapped chicken breasts. If the kids finish school, we also might watch Transformers with them.
Until tomorrow …