Around The World Voyage : Commentary

January 18, 2002 (local)

Miles to go to Singapore - 982
Fuel on board - 470 gallons
Range with fuel on board - 1433
Fuel burned last 24 hours - 48
Average speed last 24 hours - 6.4
Distance made good last 24 hours - 158
Current RPM's 1400
Current speed - 7.6
Current location - N 08'08:235 / E 118'15:643

Sulu Sea, Philippines

We have one more night in the Sulu Sea and then into the South China Sea. One more hard left turn and an almost straight shot down to Singapore. We will be going down the coast of Borneo and then cut across when the time is right and head direct to our destination.

The weather has been accommodating here on the Sulu, I don't think the wind ever got over 14 knots and there is no swell to speak of. It has been sunny and hot so we have been doing our work in the morning or evening hours. Midday is spent lazing around reading, sleeping or just staring out the windows. It's a nice way to spend a few hours, staring out at a place that until a few weeks ago we'd never heard of.

There have been no fish for us here on the Sulu. We have lines out every day, many lines, different lures...but nothing. There seems to be fish at night as there is lots of boat activity. I like to think we are doing our part not to deplete the schools too much during the day and leave some for the night crews.

While there are many fishermen about during the nights, by day we see maybe only one or two off in the distance. When night comes the seas are full of boats large and small. At one glance on the radar screen there is nothing - look away for a few minutes and then there are four, and fairly close. We usually don't pick up the small ones until they are within a few miles. No lights, made of wood and really low profile make it hard to spot targets in the black of night. We run with our standard running lights and for those that pop up close by we have spotlights at the ready. I am hoping that we spot each and every fisherman that comes our way, but for the one we miss our lights should give him the warning he needs to keep clear of our path.

I am also hoping that the one that gets by and pops up close is indeed just a friendly fisherman. There are some reports of less than honest yachtsmen in the Sulu sea and surrounding areas. No lights, made of wood, low profile and very fast.

There is much to see...on a night watch on the Sulu.


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