Saturday, August 2, 2014

On the Way to Philippines - Day 3

We were having a great sail, but going slowly in the wrong direction, and Dave just wants to "Get 'er done" and get there.

So yesterday afternoon, after a long discussion between Dave (the motorhead) and me (the sailor) we cranked the engine up and started motorsailing directly toward Cabo San Augustine, the SE point of land on Mindenao that we have to round to get up into the Gulf of Davao.

Also, the best wisdom in strong current is to make all speed directly across the current, to get out of it sooner, so that's what we're doing. Our current plan is to keep heading WSW until we strike the favorable southbound current, and then tack over and head south in the favorable current. But the plan changes with every new forecast.

There's another typhoon brewing well to the north of us, and what looked like a nice settled weather window is looking less settled as the typhoon spins us. So Dave's "let's quit playing around out here and get there" is somewhat justified.

Also, we got wind of an anchor-chain re-galvinizing expedition in Davao, our destination. To get in on that, we have to be at the marina by Tuesday evening. If we keep motorsailing we'll just barely make it. (saving lots of money on chain/re-galvanizing but spending about $3/hr on diesel fuel).

One other factor out here I forgot to mention. The Filipino fisherman fish offshore in small boats up to 180 nm from the coast. So once we get that close to shore, we have to keep watch for possibly unlit/unmarked FAD's (fish aggregating devices). They can be anything from a wooden raft to large metal cylinders, and anchored out in deep water. We have waypoints for ones that have been spotted by others, so we know about where they start appearing.

The fishermen are also out fishing at night along the coast in small unlit boats, often with nets. So you can't do coastal passages around here at night--another reason why we decided to stay offshore, rather than head for the coast and then creep along in the protection of the coast.

We're using RTOFS requests from Saildocs to get the current information. Last time I tried it (about 6 years ago), I didn't get anything, but now I do--a 3-day forecast for what they expect the current to do. It is a GRIB file just like the GFS forecast gribs, and can be viewed in OpenCPN or ViewFax.

Anyway, all is well out here, and we're "only" 215 nm from rounding Cabo San Augustine, and then it's 60 miles or so to the marina.
Sherry & Dave
Heading west across Micronesia in 2014

At 08/02/2014 1:07 AM (utc) our position was 07°10.44'N 129°38.39'E

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