Last night during my shift I watched the movie “Titanic.” At one point in the film, the captain wrote down the coordinates for the location in the North Atlantic where the Titanic hit an iceberg. 41.46 N, 50.14 West. I entered that as a new waypoint into our chart plotter and saw that it is on a latitude south of Boston. It is also just 8700 miles from Sophie’s current position. Since we have already covered over 1200 miles since we arrived in Indonesia in November, the spot of Titanic’s sinking doesn’t seem that far away to me right now. We are currently thinking about crossing the North Atlantic in the summer of 2017. It would be really sad if we hit an iceberg. But that is a worry for another day.
The only ice we like to think about these days is the ice that goes into our passage enders, like the run and coke I enjoyed after we dropped an anchor at noon today in the Riung island group on the north coast of Flores, 250 miles and 50 hours from our starting point in Hoga.
We had no squalls over the last 24 hours, and the wind died out at sunset. We motored throughout the night directly towards our destination in order to give Holly a day of beach time. We wound up running both engines and cruised along at 7 knots through a glassy sea.
Flores greeted us this morning with a rosy sunrise and a string of active volcanoes. It was pretty cool. I did the 2:30 AM – noon shift to give everyone else the opportunity to sleep in and then have a productive morning of Sophie school.
Our morning was interrupted by a fish ball encounter. We saw some birds working a disturbance in the water, and as we got closer we saw a school of large tuna arcing into the air. Some of these were big fish, and they were jumping high. We already had a tuna lure and a Rapalo in the water, and I quickly added another big marlin squid which doubles as a teaser. We drove through the school multiple times, all with no luck. We soon learned why.
In the middle of the action was a line of dolphins lined up like armored knights on horseback in a Peter Jackson film, marauding through the tuna like they were a band of overmatched Orcs. Here are two of them, all business. The odds of those tuna hitting our lures were equivalent to the odds of my stopping for a pastrami sandwich while being chased down an alley by an armed gang. Or a line of armored knights on horseback. It just wasn’t going to happen.
Our anchorage in Riung is spectacular. We are nestled up against a small island surrounded with beaches, one of which Leo named “Sand Dollar Beach.” The rest of the crew paddleboarded in and explored the island while I enjoyed a post-shift nap.
We will spend two days here enjoying the serenity of Sand Dollar Beach and then motor the 80 miles overnight to the port of Labuan Bajo, where Holly will catch her flight back to the US. There is no wind forecast for the next few days, and I am pretty certain we won’t have to worry about icebergs. We have been pretty lucky in that department so far.