just about ready to go again ! 1986 left Melbourne Australia
for North Queensland
, and warm weather! I then spent a few years in PNG and Solomon islands, 4 coral sea
crossings. So cruising for about 3.5 years before needing to get back to full time work......probably the wrong decision
wise: I had marine
HF which was used for telephony, weather
reports, communicating with other cruisers, etc, which was brilliant. VHF
also useful for communicating with ships and when sailing in company, EPIRB
, Coursemaster electronic autopilot
which was brilliant.
I had Tamaya sextant
, which I didn't use much more than the occasional noon site, relied on DR, and full set of charts
, good hand compass
, Admiralty pilot books
were useful some anchorages
. Alan Lucas cruising guide for PNG and Solomon Islands was useful. I did put on a Navstar system...the old one with 6 satellites and maybe 2 accurate fixes a day, and that was a great back up to the chart work. On all four Coral Sea
crossings virtually took no sun sights due to continual cloud cover.
I did install a solar
panel which was great, solar
bag hot water
, small 12 v fridge, that was really only effective whilst motoring. 200l fresh water
in 2 tanks
, and a couple of canvas
rain catchers. Fresh water never seemed to be an issue......maybe a correlation with no hot water system there?
wise signed up with Citibank, as at the time they were one of the few banks in Australia
that did the international credit/ debit card. used Poste Restante services a fair bit. Through the Solomon's and PNG actually traded with the villagers for most fresh food
, so cash wasn't an issue.
Never had any issues with security
The boat was a 36ft ketch
, with no furlers, but, the sails
were quite manageable, and a very easily balanced boat.
Both the cruising folks I met, and the host country locals were all great, and the experience was more around that than the sailing per se.
Today, I reckon the electronic safety equipment
and nav. aids are just superb. still when you head
off-shore I believe you have to be prepared for self sufficiency and self rescue
if it comes to that.