A night and day of rolling squalls

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.

Changing our course among the shipping

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.

Reduced visibility as the squalls hit

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.

Sarasan entrance

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.

Radar view of the five mile storm

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.

Jamie’s hands after hours in the rain

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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6 Comments on “A night and day of rolling squalls”

  1. Not to worry at si.e stage soon you can practice heaving too.
    I thought you had a hydrovane?

    As poms I would have thought the grey skys and constant rain would have made yoy think of the old dart. πŸ˜‚ Mind you after looking at the hand shot you really must moisterise more.

    Well at least you were so.e place where you could upload a video so all is good with the world.

    Whats with cats and licking the water off, Stinky does the same thing but if the midships hatch is open she sits above it and smacks me on tbe top of the head as I walk below which invariably means a ten minute play through the hatch as she attacks mr hand.gotta love them.

    Happy sailing

    Cheers
    Nige

    1. Yes! It was all too like sailing in the English Channel at times, but without the huge volume of shipping! I don’t know what it is with cats and water. She has a full bowl of water at all times and yet always feels the need to search for it round the deck. And that smacking, haha! Millie does it too – as we walk round her on the floor of the saloon she’ll grab an ankle and expect to be played with. As you say, gotta love ’em, crazy little fur balls. x

  2. It’s such a relief to see Millie looking reasonably good. I’m afraid alive been missing some of the updates, but SO happy to see the trio intact!! πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ˜ƒ

    1. This was before she got ill, Bill. πŸ˜” At the moment her blood tests have come back normal twice. But we’re now dealing with her not eating. She’s terribly thin and is only sipping a bit of gravy. Still a ways to go, but we’re ever hopeful. Thanks for your wonderful support. xxx

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