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Melanesia sailing

a trip

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 2 places   |  110 miles (177 km)   |  visibility: public   |  created 4 months ago   |  48 views   |  0 followers   |  0 copies

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  •  Monday, December 16, 2013
  • As some of you may know, I am currently in Kochin, in the south of India. Together with two other people, captain Gerd and Andres, we are preparing the sailboat Liberty to sail east from here. We have been here for over a month now, working hard on everything from repairing sails to cleaning to working on the engine and self-steering. Liberty will be slowly making its way to New Zealand in the next 12 months. The first leg of the route will be the longest open ocean passage of the whole trip. From India to East Timor passing west and south of Sumatra and Java.


    In East Timor we are planning to stay some days, explore, pick up some new crew members, provision and continue more east, where the real exploring will begin, all throgh Melanesia: Irian Jaya (the western part of New Guinea, that is part of Indonesia), Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia are on the route before the end of the trip in New Zealand.

    Captain Gerd from Switzerland, who owns Liberty and has spent a lot of his life sailing and living around the Pacific.

    Andrés is from Mexico. He has spent a lot of time travelling and certainly wants to be a sailor too.

    Originally we were going to be six people sailing out of India. Ali, Majed and Ryan spent time with us, helping preparing the boat but had to leave for different reasons. For the time we spent here together we had a great time and it was a bit of a downer for me that they would not come with. Hopefully we will be able to travel together later.

    Liberty is a 15-meter ferrocement boat, built in New Zealand but now travelling under the Vanuatu flag. Gerd has owned and sailed it since 2008. Liberty is by far not a luxury yacht but all of her equipment is very well maintained (we are spending quite some time here in India making sure everything is as it should be after all). Liberty would have made very good friends with my South American bicycle Traicho, with his milk crate instead of panniers. She has two kitchens, comfortable berths and a lot of space on the front deck. We are taking good care of her and I am sure she’s gonna take good care of us in the coming months.

    You can read the whole post in the link to my blog.
    http://carelesswhistler.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/sailing-east-from-india/
    •  Saturday, December 21, 2013
    • First four days of sailing are going pretty well.

      No one is seasick yet, but that is probably because of the general lack of wind. We have been sailing more or less close to the coast, taking advantage of the land-sea wind effect. Other than that the ocean off India’s west coast is pretty windless at the moment. Being close to shore however means that there are a lot of fishing boats on our way and we need to be extra careful with those. Some of them are quite tiny and have no lights at night. Another problem is that their fishing nets are virtually invisible so you never know if you are passing over them. Which can be a huge problem, especially when we are motoring. A fishing net in the propeller at night is no fun.

      We have had at least 5 visits from local fishermen every day. They come to say hi, ask for “drink” and “cigrattes” and offer fish to sell. Sometimes they won’t leave until we start filming them. Some were pretty nice and gave us fish for free after they asked us to go around their net and we politely changed course.

      So far our progress has been slow but we have been trying to use the wind as much as possible. We motored for a few hours yesterday when there was no wind but basically we have been moving slowly but surely towards the southern tip of India where better winds await us, at least according to passageweather.com. Once we go around Sri Lanka, we will be following an east-southeast course towards Sumatra.

      Every day so far we have stopped when there was no wind. Some swimming in the open ocean that was refreshing. I am fighting my fear of deep water (something like fear of heights, I kinda panic when I look down into bottomless water) and had some short swims around Liberty.

      We just got pretty close to the shore at Trivandrum and did some sightseeing and used the internet. My phone, that acts like a router, is hoisted up the mast for better signal. That’s how we found out about the owl sleeping on top of our mast today.

      This will probably be the last time we have internet before East Timor, which will be at the end of January at the earliest. Don’t forget to follow our spot messenger locations on Gerd’s profile.
      This is our latest spot.:

      http://fms.ws/E_NTu/8.36705N/76.98114E
      •  total distance: 110 miles (177 km)

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