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Showing posts from October, 2022

Pause for thought

We have been alarmed at the large amounts of plastic on the surface of the ocean. For almost 2000 nautical miles after leaving Indonesia, there is continuous evidence of petrochemical waste on the sea surface. Lines of plastic packaging stretch out across the sea. The beautiful beaches of the remote Cocos Keeling islands are covered in every colour of plastic. Piles of flip flops and single use plastic everywhere. Pictured are a group of Cocos Keeling residents we met cleaning their beaches. This vast ocean is polluted by our waste. This problem is getting worse and we need global leadership and solutions to address it. We are now 9 days out from Cocos Keeling islands and have only 550 nautical miles to go. Over 1800nautical miles travelled. The winds and seas have been less agitated as we have come west. We had a few days of over 30 knots with large following waves. Ruth 2 looks after us well and is untroubled by the sometimes mountainous seas. Temperatures remain very comfortable on

30kt Breakfasts

Poached eggs and seven days at sea. We continue like stubborn fellow sailors always have. Fighting the three meters swell that this vast ocean is giving us. But we tell you this we are very much occupied with knot- and fish caching activities. At this point of the journey there is a clear routine onboard, watches to attend and housekeeping to do. But what astonish me the most is that this is probably the loneliest sea I have ever sailed. Even the stars are scarce. I haven't seen any airplane passing by nor satellites or other boats. I saw a halo of a fishing vessel six days ago. Anyhow we are not alone as we have our dear Oyster friends accompanying us along the route to Mauritius. Yesterday we could report sight of a handful of false killer whales popping up and breaking the navy blue oceanic water next to the boat. That's all for now I believe we have a delayed half way BBQ party to attend on the aft deck on the boat. Par

The Indian Ocean

Heading west from the Cocos Keeling islands For the first 24 hours we enjoyed calm seas and beautiful sunshine, clipping along at 8.5 knots. Par caught a fine yellow fin tuna which was made into sashimi and the steaks cooked on the BBQ. We are now over 800 miles into our journey to Mauritius. A third of the way after 4 days. We are settling back in to the routine of life at sea. Following the early calm we are now into ocean swells and warm trade winds usually over 20 knots. Motion is endless and moving around means always having 'one hand for the boat'. Most routine things like dressing and showering are an extra challenge! Ruth 2's 40 tonnes seems so small and insignificant in the vastness of this ocean. James has us all working on our splicing, he is a great teacher. Our range of rope craft has expanded greatly. We communicate by radio, morning and evening with the rest of the Oyster fleet, sharing positions and experiences. We then plot the positions of the fleet on our

Cocos Keeling Islands

We lifted anchor yesterday, October 21st and sailed away from the beautiful Cocos Keeling Islands. Over 2300 nautical miles of open water ahead of us. What a week! Anchored off Direction Island, waking to spectacular brilliant blue water every day. Every colour blue on show, enhanced by the powder like sand below our keel. Black tip reef sharks hang around the boat having devoured the barracuda hat we caught as we crossed the reef on arrival. On shore, the connection to the outside world is a shed with a WIFI spot, pay as you go. The busiest place around as crews catch up with home sitting under a tin roof full of suspended memories of previous yachts passing through. Direction Island beach was voted the most beautiful beach in Australia, it is hard to disagree. The island is very small and uninhabited. Covered with coconut palms, planted by the 'king' of the islands the Clunies-Ross family. Until the eighties this group of islands was run as a fiefdom by one individual who pri

Life at sea

Day 5 at sea with only 150 nautical miles to Cocos Keeling. We expect to drop anchor at Direction Island tomorrow morning, Friday October 14th. Customs clearance on arrival. The trade winds have been very consistent in both speed and direction for this leg. Broad reaching in 15 to 20 knots of breeze, Ruth 2  pressing on at 9-10 knots. Fantastic sailing. The moon has also travelled with us, lighting the boat and sea around us as we move at speed. A visual and sound delight. The sea swell has been variable and at times a little uncomfortable. It can be challenging to brace yourself in your bunk to avoid being thrown out!  Bread making efforts have had mixed success, James has set a high standard for us. Heavy rains yesterday made it look like the west of Ireland! It was a day of sail management as squalls appeared on the radar. We had some visitors hitching a ride with us this morning, a pair of birds spent the morning preening themselves, unconcerned about human presence. The crew are s

Life aboard

Day four on Ruth 2 and it is warm! Beautiful sailing conditions and we now have our headsail poled out on a broad reach making 8 knots. Our average speed since departing Gili Gede is 8.5 knots over 625 miles which is pretty impressive. On the Oyster radio position reports this morning, most of the fleet are tracking to the south and astern of us. All reporting great sailing. Sea conditions are relatively calm and we are able to do laundry. Small groups of sea birds follow in our wake and flying fish swarm ahead of us, some ending up on the deck. A beautiful yellow Bosun bird was a most distinctive visitor. Fishing is good, we caught 2 Mahi Mahi, one made into a tasty ceviche, the second on the BBQ for breakfast. As we pass south of Christmas Island, 40 miles to the north, we encounter some commercial shipping in the lanes from Australia. Hooked a big Wahoo which Nicko fought for 20 minutes, just as it got it to the boat the hook broke and it got away. No lunch! Happy days.

Gili Gede crew change

Ruth 2 skipper, James is now joined by his new crew, Par (Sweden) Nicko (Spain), Richard and Guy (Ireland). We all arrived, somewhat exhausted. Some of us recovered from our lengthy journeys by staying a few nights at the excellent KokoMo Hotel. Fine rooms with excellent food and great staff led by Wayan. Journeys between the hotel and the marina required boat transfer, often in darkness navigating around the reef! Gili Gede Indonesia is a tiny island at the tip on the western tip of Lombock, only reachable by boat. The people are charming and friendly. The local children are a delight, cheerfully waving at us as they walked past the hotel on their way to school. We joined the Oyster party on Wednesday at the marina and it went on long into the night with dancing to the live band. Some hidden talents of our crew included playing the air guitar! Following a final exercise walk on dry land, we hauled anchor on Saturday, October 8th and headed out through river floodwater and debris flush

Idyllic Indonesia

The Atlantic team are back! So many sea miles have been sailed since we were all together on Ruth ll at the start of the Shanahan World Rally - it was lovely to see this special boat again.  We all converged in Luban Bajo on the island of Flores in eastern Indonesia and started on our 250 nm journey west towards Gili Gede off Lombok.  Our first stop was in the Komodo National Park where we did some fabulous diving and snorkelling with evening meals in the nearby Komodo Dive resort run by a friendly Italian so delicious food!  Off next to see the Komodo Dragons - fiercesome and deadly but we had our guide to keep us safe!  As we go west the islands become greener and with it comes prosperity in the villages - Kilo village was interesting as they grew crops and had occasional brick built houses so much more sophisticated than Komodo.  Next stop Moyo where we moored beside a volcano with an internal salt water l