AIS & Internet Position Reports

A relatively recent addition to maritime electronics are Automatic Identification Systems (AIS.) These are ship mounted transponders that both broadcast the ships location, COG and SOG and report the same data from ships in the vicinity. Since they operate on the marine VHF bands their reach is about 25 nautical miles for big ships, 10 to 15 nautical miles for pleasure craft.* They are a real plus for sailboats as we are almost invisible on radar. Under the COLREGS sailboats have almost unlimited privilege. The powered vessels have to stay out of our way. In the old days ships frequently had to be in visual range to see a sailboat. This resulted in lots of close calls. Now they know we are here way out. It is fun to watch them tweek their heading a degree or two to give us a one nautical mile closest point of approach. One nautical mile seems to be the courtesy distance. They are a real safety boost.But, as usual, I digress. An unanticipated benefit of AIS is that it can be a passive

Hard day

Spent the morning working on boat projects.. Went in at noon to a terrible lunch. Spent the afternoon drinking Bintank – the Iocal beer. Scored a T-shirt for the cost of a case of beer. If I ever get back to the USA chances are I will have a unique piece of flair. Then scored a ball cap. Its good.Back on Reboot. Tide change so we are rolling. Or I am rolling from the beer. Not sure. Probably both.Fair winds and following seas 🙂

Passage: Banda to South Buru

Just finished the passage from the Banda Islands to South Buru, Indonesia. It was a two day downwind trip in light air that left me both annoyed and frustrated. A few observations:1. Even gentle seas (less than three feet) with waves abaft the beam can set up a rolling motion that “snaps” the sails. The motion creates a wind that collapses the sail on each roll. This results in a “snap” as the sail fills on the reverse roll. Not only does this beat up the sail but it slows the boat down. The closer to dead down the worse the effect.2. Solo sailing places constraints that can be very frustrating. When “Harmonic” blew past me with their asymmetric spinnaker I rued my lack of crew. I have a beautiful asymmetric in a sail bag on my bunk. It is difficult but not impossible to rig with two, easy with three, suicidal solo!3. Some sail configurations are more stable than others. Going “dead down” (wind at 150

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 🙂

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

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

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.