Monday, January 14, 2019

Enroute to Biak

After a scant 1 day at Wayag, and 2 days motorsailing east along the north coast of Waigeo, we finally arrived at our rendezvous anchorage at the east end of Waigeo Island in Raja Ampat. 00-18.00S / 131-19.06E in about 25 feet of mud/sand.

Here, we were joined by our friends on Ocelot, Indigo II, and Berzerker. Sadly, Songbird is still in Samal waiting for their new LiPO4 batteries to clear Customs in Manila. (We hope our Songbirds will eventually catch up).

We all spent yesterday prepping for the next hop--275 miles to Biak, an island in the middle of Cenderwasih Bay. The route takes us along the top of the "bird's head" that sits at the western end of West Papua, Indonesia.

On Soggy Paws, Dave discovered milky oil in the Port saildrive. This means we've got salt water mixed with the gear oil. Not a great situation. Dave thinks they may have pinched an o-ring when they re-assembled the saildrive. Ideally, we'd need a haulout to remedy the problem, but Dave thinks he can do it on a beach with a good high tide. Right now the tides aren't right, or we'd head down to Batanta where put Soggy Paws on the beach in 2016 to change the oil. Looks like the 23rd has the right tides, so we'll be looking for a beach near Biak. Meanwhile, he sucked as much of the milky oil out and replaced it with new oil, and we'll try not to use the Port engine unless we have to.

We all left the anchorage this morning around 7:30, heading east. The wind is light NW and the seas are slight, so it's not an unpleasant motorsail. There's a high overcast so it's not too hot.

If we went direct, it would take 2 1/2 days at around 5 knots. But I think we'll stop tonight at a tiny island called Pulau Amsterdam (aka Mios Su). We are worried about motoring at night with big logs in the water--washed out to sea by the rains. Stopping tonight means we'll cover more of the coast near the rivers in the daylight.
Sherry & Dave

Cruising SE to PNG, Solomons, Vanuatu
At 1/11/2019 4:30 AM (utc) our position was 00°18.00'S 131°19.06'E

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