Thursday October 10, 2019
Where is Tim?
At 0730 local (2330 UT), I am at 2 degrees, 23 minutes South by 108 degrees, 50 minutes East, heading 300 T at 2.4 kts. Wind is SE at 6 kts, Swell is SE at 0.5 meters. Sky is clear and hot, again. We traveled 596 miles, and have 359 nm to Nongsa Point (near Singapore).
Will we ever get to Nongsa? I was hoping by Saturday the 12th (my 60th birthday), but that ain’t gonna happen! My Indonesia visa expires on October 19th, but I am hoping to be in Nongsa long before that date.
Yesterday was a great sail. We pushed north as far as we could before tacking west to 300T. There were some scattered islands I wanted to get around first. Otherwise it was hot and not particularly exciting. Get bored, make coffee. Get bored, eat! Get bored, play cards. You get the idea. You just need to be busy doing something!
The sunset last night was amazing. A yellow ball just above the horizon on a red sky. My pictures do not do it justice. Believe me, I have seen my share of spectacular sunsets (and sunrises), but this one, oh la la!
The night watch was comical. Cargo vessels everywhere, as technically we are in the Indonesian archipelagic sea lane. Fancy term for vessels can transit Indonesia waters without having to stop for a visa. With Singapore a few hundred miles away, this is the shipping route to points south, like Australia and New Zealand.
And then, for no particular reason, the wind stopped. With my full jib and only 5 knots of wind, we were basically bobbing all night at 1.7 – 2.1 kts. Oh boy!
Anyway, I discovered my AIS is my new best friend, and how little big ships can see me at night. When a ship entered into my safety ring (20 nm) my AIS would generate an audible alarm, and say “dangerous target.” If the ship altered its course relative to running into me, the alarm would cease, “target lost.” If it appeared that the ship was still on a potential collision course, the alarm would alert again. At this time, after making a visual contact with the ship, if I determined there may still be an issue, I would turn on my ships spreader lights, which lit up Intrepid like a Christmas tree. After doing that, most ships would immediately alter their course and typically pass me on my starboard side.
One ship however, either was sleeping, or a moron, or both. After doing all our steps, this ship as still coming directly at us. I attempted to hail her on my VHF radio, channel 16. No answer. I took my spot light and flashed at her bridge. No change. I altered my course hard to starboard when, I finally saw 3 spot lights point at Intrepid. The ship make an immediate and sharp turn port (away from me). She was less than 100 meters from me when this happened. As I said, asleep, morons, or both!
Well, time for my morning coffee and oat meal. For a change I will use honey instead of sugar. Intrepid is full of excitement and surprise!
Trivia time: Dead people can get goosebumps. A need to know close to Halloween.
More to come ….