Through the trade winds all the way from South America to Australia

Blog Post 29 by Jon Sanders: Australia bound through the trade winds

In my last blog I mentioned running through the trade winds, all the way from South America to Australia, i.e.: sailing between the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn.

I cleared Tahiti and headed for New Caledonia (a sizeable French elongated Island), both in the trade wind belt, and after Noumea New Caledonia on to Bundaberg where rum is made in Australia.

Going right way true. Trade winds, Nup. They stopped, so they did before I had sunk below the Tropic of Capricorn (close to 23 degrees south latitude).

Winter weather I guess. I ran into nothing. No wind at all. Swell died down, blue sky, blue oil calm sea. Nice.

Motor sailing at low revs. Good fuel economy. All day, all night, all day, all night…

The bloody thing is not an oil tanker.

When there was wind and when it came it was west and not a lot.

Wrong way wind. Must ration fuel and put up with going nowhere much.

I’m supposed to be in the trade winds!

The trade winds are caused by the spinning of the earth.

Wind Belts: trade winds, westerlies, easterlies

Way south in the 40 degrees south latitudes are the westerlies. When sailing in them, they go in a cycle. Wind backs (wind backs is anti clockwise and shifts = clockwise) northeast, goes north – often a good sailing breeze – backs northwest and increases.

It modifies and goes brrr south, then southeast though not much, and starts all over again in the northeast. Thought you already knew that.

So, in between the easterly trades to the north and the westerlies in the south are the variables.

The wind might come from wherever. Including calm. (High barometer provokes calm).

“I have been getting variables”.

Mainly light winds, but not all. One night the westerlies freshened and gave me a bumpy ride. Jerky too.

I receive an email from an age old friend (reading this blog) in Bundaberg.

Maree Stainton. Her husband Richard (Bundaberg sailmaker) had done a heap of sailing on my previous Perie Banou, the S&S 34 (in our younger days).

She writes, “Linda is in Tonga. She will be sorry if you do not stop.”

Linda in her 30s makes a habit of sailing her yachts solo (currently a S&S 34) between Bundaberg and the United States – and the other way. As does her boyfriend BJ Caldwell, a Hawaiian, in his yacht.

BJ delivers yachts, generally after races. He also races his mini transatlantic in the North Atlantic. Linda and BJ have done 1000s of miles (with me) on this Perie Banou 2, and others.

So, I hope she catches up in New Caledonia.Then I will have to change from drinking one, two or three beers to wine. Probably French. She has her ways and means of making you eat and drink what she approves. Then she will probably beat me to Bundaberg. I don’t care.

(Linda Pasquariello, Australian born – Italian parents).

Tonight I think I will have pasta (Linda reckons I never cook it right) with Bella Sun Luci, sun dried tomato pasta sauce (What the heck does that all mean?). With, I might add, whole pine nuts and Carrefour tinned legumes (no fresh food market out here). Plus, add a tin of peas and carrots, canned in USA, with mixed spices bought at Woolworths in Carnarvon, on the upper mid-coast of Western Australia.

I wish the weather were much better, so I can get to Noumea quicker and go to McDonald’s!

Whilst writing the foregoing, I stopped to stand on the cockpit ladder step to have a gink. Until then I seemed to have an adverse current (recent days). Dunno why! But now I noticed lots of ripples – wee wavelets – in the mild sea. Looks like a current.

I had another gink, this time at the B&G screen (B&G never lies). Hey, boat speed has jumped 1 to 1 1/4 knots.

It is a wonder I never got Whiplash!

I received an email from Kelly Scott, Royal Perth Yacht Club, that Paul King (RPYC) CEO of Seashells Resorts might be in Noumea when I get there. I hope so.

Shall I suggest to him that he installs a McDonalds in one of his resorts?

Gosh, he will probably read this.

As you can surmise, things are quiet. It never stays that way though.

Over the years I have put into Tahiti (and other ports) a lot of times. So one knows the procedure of one coming in. Or I thought so.

Other times Tahiti had one or two persons in an office on the waterfront. They do all the formalities simple and easy done. Come in Friday night or Saturday – it’s the weekend. The office is closed, come in Monday.

One cannot do that anymore. One must go to three offices. Need a taxi – immigration police at the airport the all-important one.

Robin Morritt sent six short two or three line SMS (iridium) sentences to me re-entry New Caledonia.

That has changed too. Instead of going to the visitor wharf, first one must anchor out.

Immigration is near the cruise liner wharf, and I presume the Customs may come out to the yacht.

It bothers me not what the correct system is (world political situation) as long as they sell eggs and still speak the French language.

Thanks Robin.

Best regards to all.


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