Collision Avoidance

Usually being a sailboat in the open ocean is pretty good. Under the COLREGS sailboats have the right of way over everyone except, in order of priority, vessels “not in command”*,) vessels “restricted in their ability to maneuver,” and vessels “actively engaged in commercial fishing”**.) In channels “restricted in their ability to maneuver” is pretty common. The big ships stay in the channels, we flirt around the edges. But in the open ocean it is very rare. I just spent the last five hours dealing with a vessel (actually several) restricted in their ability to maneuver. Specifically two ocean going tugs pulling an oil rig. A very big oil rig! This was made more complicated by the presence of several other vessels. With AIS it is somewhat possible to predict the closest point of approach. I say somewhat because wind variations can change the CPA. There is nothing quite like expecting to pass across the bow of a big ship and having the wind die! Would I pass in front? Should I alter co

Southern Ocean Weather Window

We have been watching for a weather window to depart Pago Pago, American Samoa. There have been a series of gales in the Southern Ocean passing over New Zealand. The are well south of us but do create higher waves and unusual winds as they overwhelm the Eastern trades. Our departure is complicated by the inability to check out on a weekend. We have been targeting a Tuesday departure only to discover that the current forecast is for a big hole (calm) on our route to North Tonga. These things change so we will still work to being ready. I discovered today that there is a typhoon (Nida) in the Philippines. It is expected to reach hurricane force on its way to the China coast. Fortunately it is well North and West of us and heading west. We will still keep an eye on it as these storms can turn around. Fair winds and following seas 🙂

Via Inmarsat:

in the Pacific Ocean after transiting the Panama Canal. Pictures and passage notes to follow. Fair winds and following seas! Please note your reply is limited to 160 Latin characters or approximately 135 for non-Latin characters. Sent via Inmarsat. The mobile satellite company