It’s the fourth Thursday of November here in the Selat Sorenarwa, which means it’s time for Sophie to celebrate the American Thanksgiving holiday. Our noontime position is 01.11.212 South, 135.40.423 East. We covered 147 miles in the last 24 hours and over 320 miles since we left Jayapura on Tuesday morning. Sorong is 270 miles away, and if we continue at this speed we will get there on Saturday morning. Per Ardua is 75 miles behind us.
We are still chugging along running one engine at a time @ 2,000 RPM. We now realize we can achieve over 1,000 miles range using this motoring approach.
There is not too much to report since yesterday. The water here is as flat as the water back home in Puget Sound on a day without much wind. We had no squalls last night. We passed to the south of the island of Biak in the hope of picking up some internet coverage from the town of Biak as we motored by. We did, and I was able to post a photo of the sunrise onto Facebook. A minute later we passed right by a floating log that was 100 feet long and 5 feet wide. It could have done some considerable damage to Sophie if we hit it while motoring along at 6 knots. Lord only knows what we pass by at night. There is a lot of wood in the water here, and so far we’ve been able to avoid it. We’ve also passed a fleet of open fishing boats, a tugboat slowly towing a barge, and a military airfield where some C-130s were taking off and landing. We can see islands on either side of us. Unfortunately we have a current running against us right now, and we are hopeful we will pick up the northwest-setting current once we get out of this bay.
Dinner last night was grilled yellowfin belly, grilled eggplant, and wok-fried green beans. It took about four minutes to cook, and it was delicious. We now seem to be using our little panini press for every meal.
We are dealing with a couple of constraints that limit our ability to prepare a proper Thanksgiving meal today. For starters, we have no turkey. The general manager of one of the hotels in Jayapura offered to source one for us, but we would have had to wait for a week for it to be flown up from Java. Jenna and I are both pretty tired from night watches and Sophie school, so that rules out things like baking pies even though we have a pumpkin and some granny smith apples on board. Maybe Sunday for the baking? However, we will make due today with a small beef roast, a small yellowfin roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, onions, and carrots. We’ll then have some fresh pineapple for dessert. It’s probably just what the pilgrims ate, minus the tuna and pineapple.
Also, I was able to connect to some sports websites this morning and got my fill of football news. I wasn’t able to stream the video of that catch, though.
We are thankful for everything in our lives and would like to extend warm Sophie Thanksgiving wishes to all of our friends and family back home. We think of you all the time and wish you were with us, especially next week when we begin our stay in Raja Ampat. The books say it has the broadest diversity of coral and fish in the entire world, and we plan to spend a month there. We even have an empty cabin available if anyone is feeling a little spontaneous …