22 July 2007

Noon Update : 22-July-2007

Timor Sea Crossing

  • 127nm last 24 hrs
  • 319nm to Kupang, Indonesia
  • 127nm from Darwin, Australia
  • Winds SE 15-20 knots
  • seas S 2-3ft
We pulled up anchor at 10:45 yesterday morning and crossed the start line with 107 other boats to begin the 'Darwin to Kupang' Rally. There was an official rally boat anchored at the starting line taking pictures and airplanes overhead escorting the fleet out of the channel. We had a great beam reach until sunset and then ended up motoring all night as all the wind just disappeared. Right at sunrise this morning the winds came back up and we have been sailing straight down wind ever since.

We have not sailed with this many boats since we left San Diego with the Baja Ha-Ha fleet of 140 boats back in 2005. It is nice to look around and see boats all along the horizon. As the sun set last night we were surrounded by many other boat's running lights. Luckily, there is not much chance of a collision because we are all sailing in the same direction.

All of the catamarans have blasted away and are well forward of us. But Sandpiper is keeping her own with the mono hulls. Our new, super cool, jib pole is making this downwind run quite nice.

One thing we replaced while we were in Darwin was Sandpiper's port & starboard running lights with new LED lights. With the old sidelights and stern light switched on for sailing at night, they were quite a draw on the batteries when the engine is not running. These new LED lights are not only brighter, but they use a fraction of the power!

One other thing that we have changed for this trip is that Sandpiper has gone totally electronic . We are using no paper charts. Usually we plot on paper along with the electronic charts. But we have found that the electronic C-Map charts to be so accurate that we only use paper large-scale ocean charts incase the 2 computers and 4 GPS's fail. Its kind of weird not having a paper chart to glance at or use for a reference. It is making Amy a little crazy.

We were told that all the boats participating in this rally will have their positions posted on the 'Darwin to Kupang Rally' web site. I do not know what it looks like. But it should have all the boats positions posted with updates every 24 hours since we are all checking in via SSB radio every day. If it is not, then check out where brother Ron has us plotted on the Google Maps.

More in 24,

Tom and Amy

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