Hamish Hooper blogs from CAMPER as they approach The “corner” at Indonesia
Here’s the latest:
Suddenly, after five days of monotonous port tack sailing, this leg has come alive.
Seemingly out of nowhere we are a hundred metres off Pulau Weh in a tacking duel with Telefonica just ahead and Puma a couple of miles behind.
It’s incredible that since leaving the Maldives some 1380 nautical miles away all three boats have ended up in the same small stretch of water at the same time.
It’s quite a sensation after having seen only water sky and horizon to now seeing steep green mountains rising up from the sea and beautiful tropical beaches scattered around.
Unfortunately this isn’t a sight-seeing trip and its all hands on deck, with the same intensity to an inshore race.
It’s all go, I think the next stage of this leg has just started.
GOLDEN QUOTE: “Well here we are in Indonesia, in fact we aren’t just here, we are so close to it, my chart shows we are sailing through land.”
The latest position report puts CAMPER in the lead, .4 of a mile ahead of Telefonica. Puma is five miles further back.
Earlier Hamish wrote:
Today is Day 5, which each leg ends up being quite a significant day because its around the five day mark you start to get a bit uncomfortable in the same underpants and clothes you have been wearing from the start. It’s about this time that everyone starts thinking about a change. Chuny was first to go for the full wet wipe clean, moisturise and wardrobe change.
He smelled delightful.
I’m still holding on, I told myself at the start of the leg that I would change out as soon as I see Indonesia… It’s a tantalizing prospect. I just hope we see it.
Overnight was a busy one for the guys, trying to keep the boat beating along nicely to remain at the sharp end of the fleet. Made all the more difficult with continued pesky clouds, which put the brakes on seemingly every time it was commented how well the boat was going along.
The guys on watch all do a brilliant job working together identifying clouds in the night sky by sight on deck and radar below deck to decide which are the good clouds, which are the bad ones and which way to approach them.
It reminds me a bit of the security team at airport scanners looking over the people and bags as they come along then sending them through the scanner to see what they are hiding.
This might be comforting for the guys to know they would be well qualified to work at an airport once their sailing careers are finished.
Yesterday Salty pointed out that we must be pretty close to being right on top of the tectonic plates which triggered the devastating Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 which is a somewhat unnerving thought.
Chuny then mentioned that in the last race sailing along this coast you could see a definitive scar line of obliterated barren land, just a long strip of brown nothing between the sea and the tree line. Just another reminder of the force of our Mother Nature.
At the latest sked we managed to make up a just under a mile on Telefonica, so they now have about a two-mile lead, with Puma some three miles behind us as we all converge in towards Pulau Weh which is nine miles off the northern tip of Sumatra. Once we round this we will be in the minefield of the Malacca Straits where anything can and probably will happen.
Here’s a fact for you:
Small-scale fisheries operate around Pulau Weh and fishermen have used explosives and cyanide fishing extensively. But since 1982 there has been a wildlife protection area declared by the Indonesian government that includes 34 square kilometres of land and 26 square kilometres of surrounding sea.
Explosives and cyanide fishing?? That doesn’t give the fish too much of a chance to get away!
GOLDEN QUOTE: “The racing is still locked tight so there is no room for error you have to be on your game, but its hard going, its more puffy out here than a 1970’s perm, and things aren’t going to get any easier once we reach the Malacca Straits”