Lat: 10 11.532′ S

Long: 110 14.738 E

It is Tuesday night around 10 p.m., and we are cruising along at almost 7 knots. We started flying the spinnaker yesterday around sunset and will probably be able to keep it up for the rest of the passage. The motion is easy, the skies are clear and starry, and we are looking forward to arriving at Christmas Island in a couple of days, just in time for the weekend.

Dallas planned our route according to the predicted weather, and it seems to have paid off. The GRIB data predicted that there would be very light winds north of 10 degrees south but steady trades from 10 and below, so we took advantage of the moderate southeasterly winds and calm seas on Sunday and early Monday to sail a beam reach on a southwesterly course. Once at 10 degrees, we changed to a westerly course to get on the rhumb line. We added on a few more miles this way but haven’t had to motor except for the first few hours getting around the island of Bali.

We met an Australian at a warung in Bali last weekend who is responsbile for monitoring daily usage of water, fuel, etc. on a tugboat operating around Indo. He was really curious about our fuel usage, and Dallas broke it down for him like this: we’ve used about 800 engine hours in 15,000 miles. It’s easy to take the wind for granted, especially these wonderful trade winds that just keep pushing us west, but figures like that really put it into perspective.

We’ve had a couple of unusual occurrences on the passage. (Dallas spotted some dolphins, but at this point, I wouldn’t say that’s unusual!) One was a few lights blinking on the port horizon that were clearly markers of some kind but were not on our charts. There were two blinking red lights about a half a mile apart and then a bright white light that was probably the oil rig or whatever was being marked by the red lights. I thought this was strange, but Dallas was especially curious about them since he’d spent much of the day reading Orwell’s 1984 (they’re not on the charts…what could this mean?). Most of the time we are both pretty nonchalant about being in the middle of the ocean, but when reading a book or watching a video that gets our nervous system going, we tend to be a little more nervous about our surroundings as well.

The other unusual occurrence was last night when I was lying in bed and heard a strange noise. I thought a wave had come through the open hatch and was relieved that I wasn’t lying directly underneath. However, the noise continued, and it wasn’t until I turned on the light that I discovered that a flying fish had managed to fly right into the narrow opening between the hatch and deck! I quickly took my leave from the berth, and Dallas came down and kindly disposed of the wiggly fish.