Lightning storms are always frightening on a sailboat and never more so than when you’re making an ocean crossing with nowhere to run or take shelter. As we make passage from the Anambas archipelago to Borneo, this episode is all about sailing.
With an early monsoon transitional season kicking up all kinds of capricious winds, we knew we were in for an unpredictable crossing. It would almost certainly mean both of us on watch together for much of the time. Watch the video episode here:
The angle was too acute to take us to our first waypoint on the southwest side of Natuna, so we recalculated and aimed directly towards Sarawak. This meant having to motor-sail, but that would be better than 24 hours of tacking and getting nowhere.
As we inched forward, the squalls began to muster. With lightning displays at every point of the compass, we both stayed on watch throughout the night.
By dawn we’d had enough: those three squalls and the ones that followed had sapped our energy. With fresh cups of coffee in hand we realised that the tiny haven of Serasan lay directly in our path. It seemed serendipitous to make a stop there.
At daybreak, a storm five-miles wide hung over the reef-strewn narrow entry to Serasan’s natural harbour. With 100m visibility, it took all our navigational skills to reach safety.
We were wet, cold and tired. This would be a great place to get some rest and prepare for the rest of the passage. But first it was time for a hot breakfast and a drink.
As always, thanks for supporting us and allowing us to share our adventure with you.
Peace and fair winds!
Liz, Jamie and Millie xxx
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