Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bodies with pale, grim faces littered the deck...


Our first day sailing. We were all woken at 4am with the crew preparing the engines. The plan was to break our voyage to Takuu into two sections by overnighting at the Carteret Islands. Autopilot steering on the Barbarian is currently broken so this means the boat has to be steered all the way by hand, which isn't easy on this boat.

The anchor was pulled up at 5am and we stood on the aft deck watching with great excitment, sipping tea as Buka slipped past. We saw a pod of dolphins, fishermen in dugout canoes, and a banana boat of people also headed out across the ocean to the Carterets. It wasn't a rough day but as soon as we hit the open ocean sea-sickness hit our group. Briar, Lyn, John, Rose and Endar were all struck down with it to a greater or lesser extent.

Bodies with pale, grim faces littered the aft deck. It's with a certain smugness that I can report that I wasn't one of them. Scott had a go steering, I attempted to fix the electronic chart display, and did my washing. We saw flying fish and hit a heavy squall before reaching the outer reef of the Carterets around 3pm. After carefully navigating the passage to the lagoon, we are now anchored in the shelter of the reef.

Now far away sits a wreck of a small ship, a reminder that things can quickly go wrong out here.

- Jeffrey

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