Battling Muezzims

In the anchorage in the Banda Islands, Indonesia we are surrounded by mosques. Each mosque performs the “azaan” (call to prayer) and I believe also recite the “salah” (the five daily prayers plus the Friday prayer.) From our somewhat central location in the water we can hear the prayers from several mosques. Since the “muezzim” (the person actually doing the call) is different for each mosque we get a variety of voices. What could easily be a cacophony blends and twists and is actually quite beautiful. It is a shame that I don t understand a word they are saying.It is my understanding that the salah cycle is from sunrise to sunset. This morning I was sleeping in the cockpit and was awakened by the muezzim at about 4 am. Since the call resonated from every mosque I assume this was a special prayer.Fair winds and following seas 🙂
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The real world

Reboot is participating in the Wonderful Sail 2 Indonesia rally. About 60 boats made it to Thursday Island. We are on our second stop in the Banda Islands. So far we have lost one boat (aground on a reef) and left behind about 5 others to sort various problems in Debut. One boat lost their rudder between TI and Debut. Showing remarkable skill they sailed her 250 nm without a rudder and made it into Debut. But this post is about something different. If one does a back of the envelope calculation this fleet is worth at least 6 million USD. When in Debut some of us had the opportunity to visit a local school. We had a great time. Especially me. I never thought at 70 I would be playing soccer with a bunch of kids. But I did. On reflection I realized that with the exception of their uniforms these children had almost nothing. Each desk had a small empty booklet. But no pencil. One blackboard. Almost none of the things I associate with a school room. Shelves of books? No. Student projects o
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Plan B

This morning was the appointed day for the Wonderful Sail 2 Indonesia fleet to leave Debut for Banda Island. Even though we planned separately or in small groups there was clearly a consensus path. I was about the tenth boat in line. Obviously the local fishermen didn t get the memo. When the lead boats got to the pass in the reef they discovered that the entire pass was seeded with fishing nets. Not to mention the factory boat and net handling boats. They made an abrupt turn to go to the next opening. In the meantime Steve on Chandra decided to go in a different direction. This would normally be OK except that he had plotted the route that he and I were to take. Except he changed his mind. So I do a 180 and I am now 2 nm behind. Of course he finds a great pass and rabbits. I, on the other hand, come out just in time to be in front of almost all of the boats I was chasing in the first place. My bottom is dirty so I am about 0.1 knot slower. I persevere as everyone passes me.Fair winds
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Good days, bad days, so so days

Reboot has been underway about 25 hours on our trip to Banda Island. So far the trip has been a mixed bag. After cleaning the islands around Debut we headed almost due west. Unfortunately the wind angle was a little too much downwind. Coupled with a beam sea (which rolls the boat) it was hard to keep the course I wanted to steer. Since then the wind has been up and down and we have had some rain. (Yesterday was hot and sunny.) So the comfort level has been up and down too. I am in company of about 5 other boats from the fleet. It is nice to know I am not alone. But it requires extra care to keep a good separation. Fair winds and following seas :)Underway from Debut to Banda Island, Indonesia 10:22 AM 29 July 2017.
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Fearless Bird

Late this afternoon as I was working my way through a fishing fleet a bird decided to land on my solar panels. I chased him away for two reasons: birds tend to relieve themselves making quite an unpleasant mess to clean up and my concern that XO might go overboard chasing him. One of the real downsides of solo sailing is trading sleep and keeping a good watch. In the open ocean encounters are rare. We saw maybe 5 boats in the 37 days it took to cross from Panama to Hiva Oa. Almost everyone has an AIS transponder. They show up on the multifunction display long before you can see them visually. Here in the Torres straight there are lots of fishing boats with no AIS and quite a large number of uncharted buoys. So about every 15 minutes (24/7) one needs to stick one s head up and look around. On one such trip I needed to adjust to adjust the sails. After 8 years I normally do this in the dark. It keeps my night vision intact. (When the moon is up it feels like daylight once your vision ha
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Torres Straight

Sailing through the Torres Straight. This is the water between New Guinea and Australia. Reboot is on a 500 nautical mile leg. It is ugly. The water is very shallow. Usually about 45 feet deep. The winds have been strong ranging from 20 to 25 knots with gusts to 35. The result is 6 – 10 foot seas. This would be less of a problem if they were coming from anywhere else. But they are dead on the beam. Reboot is rolling like the proverbialkklp washing machine. In addition we have all sorts of other challenges. First, the currents. When they are adverse (twice a day) they slow Reboot way down. And cause very large tide rips. Watching the vane steer I am glad I am not hand steering. Apparently another rally boat lost both its vane and electric autopilot. They are hand steering with a tiller. It is so exhausting that they heave to 12 hours a day to rest. Second we have the fishing fleets. That don t have AIS. So they don t show up on the chart plotter. At least they are brightly lit so they
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Australia

A long post… I arrived in Bundaberg, Australia from Fiji in November 2016. I then headed down to Brisbane and finally Sydney where I sat out the hurricane season. A good thing as Hurricane Debbie did a number on the Northeast coast. Finally I left Sydney and headed up the coast to Horn and Thursday Islands by way of Cairns, Gladstone, Airlie Beach, Lizard, Mt Adolphus, etc. I departed to Debut, Indonesia on July 18, 2017. The good:1. The people are wonderful. They are outgoing and friendly.2. I got a chance to enjoy some great culture in Brisbane and Sydney.3. After a year in the Pacific it was nice to have great Internet, semi-decent marine stores, and good public transportation. 4. I enjoyed a class reunion with people I had not seen in forty years. 5. I got to join a sailboat race in Sydney Harbor. Quite the treat!The not so good: 1. I have been sailing for 60 years. I have been sailing around the world for eight. I have never encountered such consistency difficult conditions. Wi
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