South China Sea
149nm from Belitung, Indonesia
173nm to Sabana Cove Marina, Malaysia
We checked our charts today and we are now in the South China Sea! The latitude line on our GPS is getting closer and closer to zero latitude as we approach the equator. I think I hear King Neptune calling out looking for any sailors that have not paid their dues.
We have not made very good time since leaving Belitung because we are escorting our NZ friends on S/V Sunburn. They have had transmission problems the whole time they have been in Indonesia. They have had to repair their transmission every time they have stopped in port. They have had to be towed in several times by other rally boats since there has been so little wind for sailing. In Belitung they think they finally got it fixed. But they are not certain until a real mechanic looks at it in Singapore.
They can not run their engine at full RPM's due to vibrations. So we are both making only 4 knots. For the last 24hrs we have kept them 2 miles off our bow in case they have any problems. A break down here would mean being stuck out here for a very long time since there is so little wind.
We are finally away from the thousands of Indonesian fisherman that we have passed before. But now we have large ships all over the place going in different directions. The Singapore Strait and the Straits of Malacca are some of the busiest shipping routes in the world. Many of the ships we are seeing are coming from this shipping "Super Highway". The closer we get to Singapore, the more ships we will be passing. And we will be crossing several shipping lanes with ships all over the place. We cannot wait!!
Our plan now is a bit fluid since our speed depends on S/V Sunburn's speed. But we are hoping to make Malaysia by Friday morning if all goes well. There is one possible stop along the way. We are just not sure where that is yet.
Tom and Amy
23 October 2007