Monday, February 29, 2016

Evanston: Death Match; fickle forecast; some numbers

        The excerpt about the execution of the Kiev Dynamo soccer team I quoted from SOCCER IN SUN AND SHADOW caused Eric to do some research.  What he found is enlightening in several ways.  I thank him.
        In his email, Eric wrote, ‘Historical truth has probably always been oxymoronic.’  A great line.


        The forecast for the day I arrive in Opua has changed daily for the past four day from showers, to heavy rain, to no rain, to, at the moment,  some rain and some sunshine.
        While I would rather arrive aboard GANNET dry, I am in fact bullet proof this time.  I have a disposable plastic poncho which will suffice if rain is light.  If a deluge, I will have the shuttle from the airport drop me at the Cruising Club where I can don my dry suit and sea boots.
        This presupposes that a winter storm due in Chicago tonight does not cause flights to be cancelled tomorrow.


        I may have posted these or similar numbers before, but checking the journal archive, I did not find them.  I  re-measured yesterday.

NZ to Bundaberg                 1300
Bundaberg to Cape York       1100
Cape York to Darwin              700

Darwin to Cocos             2100

Cocos to Mauritius          2400
Mauritius to Durban       1600

Cocos to Durban             3800

Cape Town to Falklands         3500

Cape Town to St. Helena       1600
St. Helena to Falklands          3300           

        While the decision is not final, I am thinking of entering Australia at Bundaberg in southern Queensland, even though after doing so I may sail back outside the Great Barrier Reef to near Cairns.  From Cairns to Cape York will be day sailing inside the reef.
        When I sailed from Darwin to Bali in 2008, it was possible to stop at uninhabited Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea.  I did not then, but thought I might this year.  However, I read that the reef is also used by people smugglers.  Even if it is still permitted to stop there, I don’t know that I will.
        Having stopped in Bali last time, I had not realized that the distance from Darwin to Cocos is as great as it is. 
        From Cocos I will sail either to Mauritius or directly to South Africa.
        I visited Mauritius in 1988.  It is an interesting and pretty island, but not one that I have an overwhelming desire to see again.
        Sailing directly to South Africa would have the advantages of being ahead of the herd, which crowds South African harbors from November on,  and enable me to break the voyage to fly back and spend some time with Carol and watch the Cubs win the World Series, advantages that have to be counter balanced by the risk of running into a winter gale.
        The numbers add up to a minimum of 9,000 nautical miles, Opua to Durban.  Those are straight line distances.  GANNET will certainly sail more and have covered at least 10,000 by the time we near Cape Town.
        An email a few days ago from Hayden has caused me to be thinking about Cape Town.  He suggested that GANNET put in at Simonstown, about twenty-five miles south of the city on the east side of the Cape Peninsula.  I’ve been there by car and train, but not boat.  Cape Town is spectacularly beautiful and I’ve always been treated well at the Royal Cape Yacht Club, but the harbor is industrial and dirty and often windy.  Besides at Simonstown there is the possibility of GANNET being on a mooring rather than tied to a dock. 
        I thank Hayden for an appealing suggestion. 


       Unless you read otherwise, I am gone by this time tomorrow.