I am actually just making a 100 n-mile solo passage
amongst the islands off the West coast
of Sumatra, from Sibolga to Lagundri bay , on Nias island.
Departed Sibolga at 1730 hrs yesterday and arrived for landfall at Nias at 0630 hrs, doing 5.7 knots under motor
only, no wind
. A full night's passage
, with a beautiful full moon illuminating the huge cumulo nimbus storm clouds all around me, no bad squalls, thankfully!
I have a latest raymarine
, installed it myself in langkawi, below the rear bunk, on a huge stainless steel
mount, can control it from the chart plotter or directly from the helm
, very strong, with 300 kilos of push , mounted directly onto the rudder
post, works beautifully, had about 5 sleeps, but the radar alarm kept waking me up, lots of fishing
boats out, then the storms came at 3.30am and they show up on the radar and set off the alarms. I also use the kitchen alarms, two, as Mark does.
I have a track on the gps
from last year's trips that I set the autopilot
to follow. The chartplotter
also has an off course alarm and way point arrival alarm, with a data and alarm repeater at the nav station.
I also have another chartplotter mounted over my bunk for keeping a check on the crew when I am off watch and also as an anchor
watch alarm, very useful. It is right above my face when resting.
Of course I have a good look around on the 8 mile radar scan and check visually and on the charts
before i put my head
down for 15 to 20 mins. When it is raining heavily I sleep in the saloon
as the radar swivels on an adjustable mount that allows me to view it in the cokpit, at the nav station, or from the saloon bed
, looking straight back it and it has a loud alarm, Furuno
. Otherwise, sleep in the cockpit.
I had a crew for 6 weeks, but they had to leave. Last year, also had a crew, but no radar, and still ran into a reef!?
Should be surfing in 4 hours in lagundri bay. About 10 miles offshore
the SE tip of nias at the present moment. Got 3 fishing
lures out the back, looking for breakfast!!?? All I have caught is irate Indonesian fisheman's net!! Ooops, alarm from the radar just went off again, 3 fishing canoes 2 n-miles ahead, what are they doing 10 n-miles offshore?
So, I reckon it's radar, radar, radar... for the solo sailer?
Fair winds from Keith.