Aug 98 Enews

Out of Bounds Enewsletter

We send out an Email newsletter about once every two weeks. Here’s the latest installment from Alex. If you’d like to be included in the future, send an Email to Jeff and he’ll sign you up.  By the way, our list is not used for advertising purposes nor is it ever sold or passed on to Email marketers.

Hi Everyone,

Well we made it! At 15:20 local time, after 2004.31 NM over 12 days, 8 hours and 20 minutes we dropped the hook in the lagoon off of Direction Island.  The only way to describe what we see is drop-dead gorgeous! This is a far cry from the murky, crocodile infested waters of Far North Queensland and the Northern Territory of Australia! This is why we endeavor to spend long periods of time at sea fighting inclement weather and lack of sleep. This is our reward!

The passage out here was our second longest so far, the first being the run from the Galapagos Islands to the Marquesas Islands more than a year ago. That was 3,000 miles and 18 days at sea.  This time around we experienced just about every conceivable type of condition you could imagine.

It began with almost three days of no wind at all. All we could do is motor along through glassy seas and pray for some air to blow our way. No wind gave way to fresh Southeast trades pushing us along through gentle seas.  After alternating periods of wind/no wind we watched as it slowly clocked East, then Northeast, North and then right around to the West. Having it on the nose is bad enough, but when it's blowing 30-35 knots, to say it's miserable is an understatement! The only cool part of it was sailing hard on the wind while surfing down the front of 8-10 foot waves. At 9-10 knots, that's quite a sensation!

If you want to check out the blow by blow of our passage you can find it on the web site. Unfortunately, we cannot post daily updates yet, as our PinOak E-mail system is not operational. We spent uncounted hours both before we left Darwin and off shore to no avail.  If we are unable to get the PinOak system working by the time we leave Cocos, we are considering a satellite system when we hit the Seychelles.

Since we arrived yesterday we haven't done a whole lot. We were visited by Customs and Quarantine officers (both clad in bare feet) soon after dropping the anchor. We did not know what to expect with out littlest crew member (Lucy, our dog) but all went smoothly in the end.  I guess it helps if the Quarantine officer is a dog lover, but regulations are regulations and she still can't get off the boat.

As it is Sunday here, there is nothing happening at all. The ferry service to Home Island and West Island does not operate on Sunday, so we were relegated to exploring Direction Island. Direction Island consists of a dilapidated pier, a portapotty, 2 fresh water tanks, and a barbecue (with small shelter).  Oh, and a solar powered pay phone as well. Needless to say there are no inhabitants.  The sum of our exploring was a walk to the end of the beach (which is the end of the island) and a long swim in the clear turquoise blue water of the lagoon.

Tomorrow we are planning a trip to West Island to check out the extent of civilization here on Cocos.  We hear the   Post Office is only open from 8-12 on Mondays and Thursdays. Not surprising, since there is only one flight a week from Perth.  Anyway, there is a lot to see in the time we have here.  We'll keep you posted on the latest.

Alex for the crew of Out of Bounds,
Bill, Suzie, Mark and Lucy the dog

Cocos Keeling
Latitude 12 deg. 05.60 S
Longitude 96 deg. 52.87 E

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