It’s New Year’s Day here in Sorong, Indonesia. We decided to slip in here yesterday to grab some diesel and cheese and then watch the fireworks display. We are headed south to Misool and Ambon with Per Ardua. Fortunately, there were 6 other cruising boats iin the harbor, and we got together for a party on the Privelege 58 Downtime. We drank beer, watched fireworks, and were asleep by 11:00 PM.
Remember, when you’re cruising in the tropics, 8:00 PM is the new midnight.
We had a busy yet relaxing holiday week. Our little Christmas fleet scattered after Boxing Day, and Sophie and our BFFs on Per Ardua sailed up to an anchorage on the north side of Gam called Kabui Pass.
We stayed there for three or four days, snorkeling the pass and playing in the water. The kids had a great time on the kayaks and paddleboards.
Even Jenna got into the act with some standup paddleboard yoga.
We were low on food over the course of the week and had to get creative with our cooking. We had lots of fish, noodles, and beer.
One night I made marlin poached in coconut milk with ginger, soy, turmeric, and corn. This is the same marlin that Dan Rogers caught last April. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, and man does Sophie have a good freezer!
Another night I served grilled yellowfin steak sandwiches on home made rolls. It is the first time in my life I’ve ever baked bread in an oven. It tasted as good as it looked. The middle loaf was a gift to the Per Arduans, 80% of whom are vegetarians. That means they have to eat twice their body weight in food every day in order to match the caloric intake of us cruising omnivores. The loaf was devoured in 12 seconds.
Jenna also made pad thai a couple of times. Her Southeast Asian cooking skills are becoming quite good.
Steve Schufreider from Seattle is with us for a few weeks. He was an excellent mule on his flight from Seattle, bringing with him Leo’s fifth grade books, new cables for our bowsprit, 2 new pumps for our freshwater system, some Christmas presents from back home, and a container of honest-to-goodness real American dishwasher pellets. No more concoctions of dishwashing soap and baking powder for us!
One of the first things we replaced with the parts Steve hauled halfway around the world was the broken water pump. We think it may have been damaged in Fiji when someone took an exceptionally long shower. Or it may have simply worn out.
As you can see in the photos above, it’s part of a two pump system. The bottom pump draws the water from the freshwater tanks and pressurizes it to 2 bar. The top pump increases the water pressure to 2.8 bar. This system enables us to take showers, flush toilets, run dishwashers, and wash clothes all at the same time. With the top pump out of order, our water pressure was much lower and we couldn’t do all of these water activities simultaneously.
Fortunately, the replacement pump fit exactly where it was supposed to. We got everything wired and plumbed together and fired that baby up. Can you guess what happened next?
Pipes started bursting!
The first to go was in a length of bad hose under the floor in Leo’s cabin. The hose was installed by Lagoon in their factory in 2007. This 2 meter stretch of hose has sprung 5 leaks since San Diego almost 2 years ago.
I’ve used hose clamps and rescue tape over the last 2 years to continually patch pinhole leaks in this … thing.
We cut the … thing open and saw that the outer hose, the layer of reinforcing nylon, and the inner hose had completely delaminated. We think the hose may have been left out in the sun in some warehouse parking lot for a year or two before it was installed in Sophie.
Fortunately, while walking around Waisai we spotted a shop with coils of 1/2″, 3/4″, and 1 inch nylon-reinforced high pressure water hose, and they were selling it for around a buck a meter. We bought a lot of each size, and I was able to replace this … thing once and for all.
That’s the shiny new hose at the bottom of the photo.
Later on that day, we had two failures in a length of 1″ hose that runs directly from the water pump into a series of manifolds that distributes the water around the boat. The first failure was right under the hose clamp at the pump itself, so Steve simply cut off 2 inches of hose and reattached it. The second failure was catastrophic, meaning the water leak forced the bilge pump (and its shrieking alarm) to run constantly. So Steve replaced the entire run with the brand new 1″ hose we had just purchased.
Anyway, the plumbing has been stabilized for several days now, and we are enjoying our increased water pressure. We think we might be using more water now, and I will install a switch that turns off the new pump if we ever want to go into water conservation mode.
But enough about plumbing, let’s talk about garbage and diesel. After Kabui Pass, we decided to head south to an unnamed anchorage on the eastern tip of Batanta Island, with a 2 hour stop in Wasai along the way to buy produce and dispose of our garbage in an actual dumpster in the market. There is a lot of plastic in the water here, and we do not want to contribute to the problem.
As part of this trip to the dumpster, we decided to get rid of our beloved Relaxation Station, a floating lounge that often drifts behind Sophie at anchor. This one simply had too many tears along its seams for us to keep afloat. I am already scheming on how I am going to replace it in time for our stay in Bali next month …
After Batanta, Jenna and I decided we should make the quick overnight stop in Sorong since it was on our route south to Misool. It was New Year’s Eve in Sorong, meaning the shops were full. Jenna apparently had to fight through a bit of a frenzy at the grocery store, including a crowd of angry women shaking their fists at the empty meat counter. Procuring the diesel was much easier. Our friend Victor simply arranged for 600 liters to be delivered to the waterfront in 25 liter jugs, and we once again ferried them out using Sophie’s dinghy and siphoned it into the tanks of the 2 sailboats.
Fortunately, Steve and Peter (the omnivore on Per Ardua) were there to help. And yes, that is the famous cat Skimpy in the background. It is legally registered in the Bikini atoll, and it does indeed have the words
written across its transom.
What a journey.
A year ago we celebrated New Year’s Eve with fireworks on the Auckland waterfront. We’ve sailed over 5,000 miles since then, enjoying our best year ever. Above is a photo of our track from 2014.
Who knows where we will be a year from now?
On behalf on Jenna, Leo, and Hazel, we want to wish all of you a Happy New Year. We are extraordinarily fortunate to be on this adventure. We miss our good friends and family back home, and we hope all of you come and visit us 2015, which will be the best year of our lives.