Sunday, July 27, 2008

July 26, 2008 - Passage to Indonesia

Technically, the Sail Indonesia rally started this morning at 11am. I'm sure it was a sight to see - over 100 boats starting together, spinnakers flying. But we weren't around to see it. By that time, we'd been underway for 20 hours and were 120 miles Northwest of Darwin.

We weren't too keen on sailing in close quarters with so many other boats, so we'd actually been planning on starting a little later than the rest of the fleet. But on Wednesday we pulled down a grib file that confirmed earlier weather forecasts predicting negligible winds for the rally. The earlier we left, the longer we'd have before the fans shut down and we'd have to turn on the engine. At nearly $6 a gallon for diesel, we decided to try to get some winddriven miles under the keel before we had to start motoring. So, as soon as we cleared out with Customs on Friday morning, we headed back to the boat and got her sorted so that we could get underway.

It was several hours of work before everything was stowed. We left Darwin with light air and the current assisting us. Late afternoon, the seabreaze set in, canceling out the prevailing southeasterlies. Then the current turned on us. To avoid spending the night drifting back towards Darwin, we turned on the engine. We motor sailed for a few hours, to get away from the influence of the land. Eventually, the wind filled back in and we were able to turn off the engine. Ever since, we've been sailing, slowly, but still sailing.

Each day we and the other rally boats are reporting our positions, which will be posted on the Sail Indonesia website (

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