Lots of open ocean most of the time, though occassionally we would cross a shipping lane or a fishing ground, and there would be more traffic. If our our routes had taken us to exactly the same spot at the same time, the auto-pilots would have run us into each other. Auto-pilots only know points on a chart, not what is actually happening on those points. Radar knows, but it isn’t steering the boat. The auto-pilot and radar work together through the person sitting watch. It’s easier during the day because you’re dealing with what you see, not just what the radar is interpreting for you. At night you can see lights, but they are so far away, luckily, that they aren’t so useful. Anyway, had we run into the ship in the picture, or he us, we would have been history. (Randal says that is a really simple explanation of auto-pilot and radar, but accurate.)
In the late afternoon it was nicer to go down the cockpit stairs to the swim platform and take a hose shower. Just you and the open ocean, and the guys upstairs! So I showered with my clothes and took care of two tasks at one time. The guys would have given me privacy, so maybe next passage I will skip the clothes bit. I have to say it was tempting to think about a swim, but of course I couldn’t go, so didn’t.
We had rain and then we had sun, so we had a rainbow. It really does look like the water is spilling off the world when you look at the horizon, and you can do it 360 degrees worth on a boat. The stars were amazing too. I’m not sure if I was seeing the Big Dipper, but north was off our stern and I think the North Star was following us. I have to look all of this up at some point, but no matter, it was beautiful. I couldn’t capture it with my camera. Just imagine you’re at a planatarium, only better. The sky’s truly so vast, as vast as the ocean. And the ocean really is ink bottle blue, bluer than I thought it would be. Unfortunately we only saw a few small flying fish skipping out and over the water away from bigger fish and not any more interesting sea life.
Entries from my journal…
Our fly bridge has a ladder that goes up from the cockpit just behind the pilot house back wall. We can raise the ladder up to the flybridge and zip up the cockpit biminy to keep the cockpit sort of dry. We had left it unzipped because the weather was good and we wanted access to the flybridge. Here was my entry as I was lying back on the cockpit cushions.
"Looked up through the ladder opening in the biminy and watched the mast point to the stars."
"One hand for me, one for the boat." That’s the way you have to walk around a rolling boat.
"48 hours out 18.32 N 117.5 E"
"We have been at sea for 3 nights and it’s starting to feel like a month."
"Nights are beautiful with the stars."
"Mornings are beautiful with the sunrise."
"Days are too long and too hot."
"The South China Sea doesn’t taste like the Atlantic where the salt coats your lips and you can taste it as you lick them."
"The bright sun makes the water port side look black/purple/blue; the starboard side is ink blue."
"Our horizon is 360 degrees!"
"At night the stars fall to the water."
Bill put up our American flag to indicate where DoraMac is registered.
We also fly the flag of our host country; the Filipino flag.
We had forgotten to get the yellow quarantine flag that you fly into port. Guy used a yellow supermarket bag.
After the quarantine inspector comes and the immigration inspector comes and the customs inspector comes, you can finally leave the boat. Till then everyone must remain on board. All inspectors were pleasant and interested and accepted a bottle of water. The 3 inspections cost $150 U.S.
Randal backed us into our slip. Good job Randal! Not sure what slip number we have, but we are on the last row, left side, near the end of the dock.