04 November 2006

Team Sandpiper Update 4 Nov 2006

  • Noon Position, 22'54.1S/153'59.8E
  • 140nm to Bundaberg/Aus
  • 863nm from Port Vila Vanuatu
  • 109nm last 24hrs
  • winds N-5 knots, seas calm

Comms officer Ron here...

Our last night at sea on this leg. We should arrive in Bundaberg tomorrow evening if all goes as planned. We can't arrive before 4:30pm, when customs closes. Otherwise we have to pay an extra $160 dollars for their weekend fee. The Australian customs service makes it difficult for sailing yachts to comply with their rules. You have to tell them 72 hours in advance when you will arriving, date and time. Then if you miss that time, they get to fine you $3000. And they charge extra if you arrive on a weekend or holiday. Since sailing is dependant on the winds, it makes it hard to hit the target.

Last night the wind died. The seas were flat as can be. We ended up having to motor for a few hours today. Otherwise, there would be no way we could meet our estimated arrival for customs. But the winds picked up later today, swinging around from the south-east to the north. Strange... but it works well for us. We have switched to a starboard tact after spending 9 days on a port tact. Now my bunk is on the low side. Yea! No more rolling out in waves.

We finally sighted one on the other boats in the Rally today. The first sailing vessel we have seen since leaving Port Vila. We are also crossing the main shipping lanes for the eastern Australian coastline. There has not been very much traffic. We only sighted two cargo ships today.

We crossed the edge of the Australian continental shelf today too. The depth of the water below us shrank from over 3000 meters to about 300 meters. Not that you can tell from up here on the surface.

A co-worker of mine had managed to get me all of season one of the tv sitcom "My Name Is Earl" ripped to a DVD. I brought that DVD, plus a heap of other shows on DVDs, with me for Tom and Amy. So for the last two days we have been watching episodes on my laptop. When I leave, they will have others DVD's to watch, such as "House", "CSI", "Bones", "Boston Legal", and a bunch of others that I can't remember. Ya gotta love bit-torrent!

That's all for now. More in 24!

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