Sep 98 Updates

September 1, 1998 6:00 PM Local Time, Day One of Passage
Well, you can’t speak too quickly sometimes. Alex was able to punch through and make a connection with the PinOak E-mail System over the radio.  However, one success does not a system make.  Here’s what I received from the yacht:

Jeff, can’t believe you may actually get this! I logged on a few minutes ago and downloaded all the messages that were waiting for us. Miracles do happen! Anyway, quick update on OOB. We left Chagos this afternoon at 14:00 en route for the Seychelles.  Distance 980 NM, ETA 5-6 days. Current conditions: Winds SSE 15-20 knots true, seas 1-2 meters, skies partly cloudy but beautiful. Boat speed 7.5 to 8.5 knots SOG.  Position 05.08.30S  70.21.47E. Currently running full main, genoa & staysail.

Chagos was awesome, will send you more if this works. Did everyone receive the newsletter from Cocos? Let me know. Looking forward to coming home, will arrive afternoon of Sept. 11th. Will call you from the Seychelles beforehand.

Just a quick note, Alex is flying home to attend a close friend’s wedding in mid-September. He’ll also be bringing back all the pictures that I’ve desperately wanted to use to update the site.  The problem was always with the ability to connect and the cost associated with transmission of the huge graphics files.  Now we’re cooking!


September 2, 1998 7:00 AM Local Time, Day Two of Passage
The PinOak is deciding to cooperate and we were able to connect again, but only for a short time.  We are now roughly 200 miles into the 980 mile passage and should make Mahe in the Seychelles in about 4 or 5 days. Conditions are not much changed from yesterday. Still a slight cloud cover but otherwise it is really quite a nice morning.  The sun is just beginning to creep over the horizon, laying a shimmering orange glow in our silent wake.

Jeff told us that we were on Netscape's “What’s New” page and the resulting increase in visitors to the site.  For those of you just joining our journey, nose around the site some.  There’s plenty to see from passages across the Pacific and through the Caribbean. To all those that have followed our journey since the beginning, thanks for sticking with us.

If the PinOak gets more reliable, count on daily updates.  It seems as though the propagation was just a little much when we were farther back in the Indian Ocean.


September 3, 1998 7:00 AM Local Time, Day Three of Passage
Another connection!  That’s three days in a row. Alex says that he has about a 3 hour window in the morning from 4:00 to 7:00 AM when the propagation (radio interference) isn’t bad and he can connect using the PinOak system.  For those just reading about the trials and tribulations of communicating at sea, there has been lots of problems connecting since OOB left Darwin, Australia. That is until just recently. We were all set to return the system, but we’ll keep it now and see how things go. Here’s the update for today:

Wind: 18-20 knots ESE
COG (Course Over Ground): 272 deg
SOG (Speed Over Ground): 8-9 knots
Position: Longitude 070 deg 03.85 E   Latitude 005 deg 07.60 S
Conditions: Winds freshening and moving behind us. Seas 1-1.5 meters and consistent. Skies partly cloudy and clearing. Currently have full main and staysail with genoa poled out to port. Motor running to charge batteries & make water.

Today's Highlights: Dodging ships all night, must be passing through a shipping channel. Bill and Suz spot a US Navy vessel 3 miles off to Port, probably heading to Diego Garcia. Day 3 and finally we catch a fish! I reeled in a 4 ft Mahi Mahi at 5:00 and by 6:30 it was grilled and sitting on the table.


September 4, 1998 6:00 AM Local Time, Day Four of Passage
We're still moving right along, but man, is this ocean big!  By the way, today the best propagation is now between 21:00 and 00:00 GMT. I'm usually on after 22:00 and can pick up a signal as late as 01:00.

Wind: 15-18 knots SE
COG: 272 deg
SOG: 7-8 knots
Position: Longitude 064 deg 34.69 E   Latitude 04 deg 54.97 S
Conditions: Winds coming back around to the south. Seas 1-2 meters, making the boat a little rolly. Skies mostly clear. Sail plan is full main and genoa on a port tack.

Today's Highlights: Today was a fairly uneventful day. Winds have been a steady 18-22 knots moving to the South. We haven't had to make any major sail adjustments since jumping around on deck yesterday. As we move north toward the equator, it's slowly been getting hotter. Consequently, we've all been doing lots of reading (with fans close by). No fishing today, as we still have an abundance of Mahi Mahi. Dinner tonight...yep, you guessed it, Mahi Mahi! This time grilled with pineapple and rice. As of right now we have 397 miles to go.


September 5, 1998 6:00 PM Local Time, Day Five of Passage
Wind: 24-26 knots SSE
COG: 272 degrees
SOG: 8-10 knots
Distance to WP: 221 miles
ETA: Sunday Night
Position: Longitude 059 deg 53.72 E     Latitude 04 deg 44.84 S

Conditions: Winds now blowing steady @ 20+ knots. Seas 2-3 meters and quite uncomfortable. Skies mostly clear. Still flying full mainsail and genoa. Added staysail this morning.

Today's Highlights: Still not much happening out on the open water. Winds have been increasing along with the seas. It'll be a little lumpy tonight for sleeping but we'd rather be going fast than too slow. Our port fuel tank is empty and we are well into reserve on the starboard tank. We have an extra 6 gallon gerry can of diesel, but that won't get us far if we run out of wind and have to motor. At this point, lack of wind is not a worry, mate! Landfall tomorrow night. Normally we would stand off but because it'll be a full moon and the entrance to the anchorage is large and unobstructed we should have no problem. We wish everyone a great Labor Day weekend there at home!


September 6, 1998 11:45 PM Local Time, Day Six of Passage
We are currently approx. 1 1/2 hr. from the anchorage. Hope everyone’s having a good weekend!

Wind: 18-20 knots SSE
COG: 272 degrees
SOG: 8-9 knots
Distance to WP: 11.3 miles
Position: Longitude 056 deg 11.28 E    Latitude 04 deg 38.32 S

Conditions: Winds currently SSE @ 20 knots true. Seas still a little uncomfortable. Skies mostly clear. Full moon is very bright.

Today's Highlights: Everyone has been very excited all day long in anticipation of landfall. As I report this it is 21:50 local. We have just been in contact With Victoria Harbour Tower control. We have been instructed to proceed to the outer anchorage and await Customs, Immigration and Quarantine in the morning. We can see the lights of the island and I think Lucy can smell it. The big disappointment of the day was losing a rather large fish when he swam beneath the boat and wrapped the line in the prop. With our chance at having sushi gone, there were a lot of long faces.  However, there’s always tomorrow.


September 8, 1998 9:00 AM Local Time, Anchored off Mahe
Received a quick E-mail from Alex advising us of the safe completion of the Chagos to Seychelles passage.  They’ve found an Internet Cafe and will now be able to communicate at a better rate and answer the wealth of E-mail received over the last 6 weeks.  Alex promises to have tons of new photos, videos, and journals in hand when he makes it back this Friday, September 11th, for our friend Jamie Noble’s wedding on September 12th.

Site Note: From about 8:00 PM on September 7th to 6:00 PM on the 8th, the OOB pages got a tad jumbled. It seems we hit our maximum allotted size on our server at Servercast/NaviSite.  Consequently, when I went to upload the update last night, it spit everything back and erased a few pages, notably the home page (index.html).  A quick call to Dave Boyle at Servercast and the problem was solved.  We now have over 200mb of space (with over 170 pages, this site is growing very quickly!).  A gracious thank you to Dave for responding so quickly. If you need hosting for your commercial site, please consider giving
Servercast a call.  I can’t even begin to tell you how great they are at providing help when you need it most.


September 9, 1998 10:00 AM Local Time, Anchored off Mahe
Alex tried to send an update today on the Seychelles but it got bounced back from my E-mail.  He´s going to try again tomorrow.

The big news is that the Internet Cafe that the crew has found will enable them to send lots more info than the SSB E-mail system.  Check back for more updates in the next few days.


September 10, 1998 10:00 AM Local Time, Anchored off Mahe
Alex was able to use the Internet Cafe in Port Victoria and send the latest Enewsletter detailing the first two days in the Seychelles. Check out what’s happening aboard Out of Bounds now that the passage is over.


September 16, 1998 11:00 PM EST, New York City
OOB at Anchor
How great is it to see a friend that you basically spent every waking hour with for over a year in close quarters and in all sorts of conditions... Alex and I met up last night and relived the old memories and went over the new ones.  We also set up the slide scanner on my PC here in NYC and sorted all the slides into chronological order. Over 100 sheets of 36 exposures! I'll have the pick of the bunch to update the site with now.

After doing the computer geek thing, Alex and I went out for dinner and some drinks to talk over all that’s happened. He’ll be writing them up for me toSuzie post in the near future. I'll also try and find the time to rewrite the missing journals from the South Pacific that got eaten when the hard drive crashed last year.  Bill has also chipped in with a new edition of “Officially Speaking” that he finished before Alex left the Seychelles.

Bill and Suzie continue to enjoy the Seychelles while waiting for two new crew members to join them. Mick and Sally, friends from Australia, will be joining the crew for an extended period of time.  They may even make it all the way back to the states.  Imagine that, outnumbered by Aussies on an American boat!


September 18 & 19, 1998, Anchored off Mahe
Bill and Suzie are waiting for the new OOB crew, Australian friends Mick and Sally, to arrive in the Seychelles.  Meanwhile, back in the states, Alex and I plan to get together out in Connecticut.  Alex is having a number of friends over for a barbecue on Saturday night.

I spent the last three days scanning and cropping all manner of pictures that Alex brought back when he flew home from the Seychelles.  I’ve posted a number of new scans throughout the site and will add even more over the coming weeks.  Check the Photo Section for more pics suitable to use as wallpaper on your computer.  I even added a huge one for people that have 1152x864 resolution.

Cocos Keeling

New Cocos Pics

Breakfast at Anchor in Chagos

New Chagos Pics


September 21, 1998, Anchored off Mahe
Alex leaves to fly back to the Seychelles tomorrow and Bill has penned an update from the Seychelles.  Mick and Sally are settling in to life aboard Out of Bounds.

I have added numerous photos to the site in a number of places.  Best to start at the beginning of the Indian Ocean Journals and work your way through.  There has also been another page added for pictures of Out of Bounds.

I´ll be in London on business from Tuesday to Saturday, so unfortunately, I won’t be able to update the site until I return. 

View up the beach

Thanks again to everyone that´s stopping by our site (200 plus per day on average!)

Cheers,
Jeff

Palms

September 28, 1998, Somewhere in the Seychelles
As those of you that have been following the OOB journey over the last few months may know, sometimes the communication is not quite up to par. This being the case, I haven’t heard from the Out of Bounds crew in the last week or so.  Nothing to worry about, mind you, but just a fact of life when you reach some areas that have limited communications technology.

The good news is that Alex and I ended up in London together last Wednesday while he was on layover for his flight back to the Seychelles. I was there on business for a few days and we were able to get some sushi for lunch (a boat favorite) and a pint of some good English ale for dinner.

Alex has promised to get the Chagos journal to me in the next week and I promised to rewrite the South Pacific journals that got munched when our hard drive crashed last year. We’ll also be getting some photos of the new OOB crew, Micko and Sally soon.


September 29, 1998, Port Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles
Hello from the Out of Bounds!  The crew is in full swing as I type preparing Out of Bounds for an early Wednesday, September 30th departure from Mahe.  The next destination: Mayotte in the Comoros Islands.  Mayotte is just off the NW coast of Madagascar. Passage time should be about 4 or 5 days to cover the 850 nautical miles.

On a sour note, the watermaker has gone South before us... Seems a bronze casting in the high pressure pump corroded through.  Until we can have another one shipped out from the states (probably to a marina in South Africa), we’ll be on a water rationing program.  Our tanks hold a little over 100 gallons (400 liters roughly) and with the four extra jerry jugs we’ll have another 25 gallons. With five crew members and our dog Lucy, it should be enough. In an emergency, we can still use the watermaker, but the leak sprays salt water all over the engine compartment and into the bilge.

We’ve been having a bit of problems again with the SSB E-mail system.  Think it should be OK once we get away from land.


September 30, 1998, Anchored off Mahe
Well, the start of the passage has been put off for just one day to October 1st. Good news, however, as we may be stopping at Aldabra.  Aldabra is the largest coral atoll in the world about 300 NM to the SW. Just recently the Seychelles authorities have decided to let transiting yachts visit this beautiful atoll.

Alex has also written the
October Enews and a typical day aboard Out of Bounds during passage.  The Typical Day journal is amazing! Check them both out!

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