4 Aug 02 Left Santo, Vanuatu headed for the Torres Straits of Australia. A few hours out we lost our fluxgate compass, and hence, the autopilot would not work since the fluxgate is an electronic input to the Auto. We turned around in strong winds and headed back to the mooring in Vanuatu. We had a spare fluxgate compass and a new Ratheon computer on board - THANK YOU RATHEON! After installing them all night we were ready to set sail on 5 Aug 02. After sea trials and calibrating the new systems, we successfully set sail for our >1400 nm to Thursday Island, Australia.
6 Aug 02 Nice sailing today, smooth sunny conditions with 12 kts wind SSE. Caught a nice fish for dinner.
7 Aug 02 Wind picked up from the SE at >20 kts. Sailing with a double-reefed main and jib and making a good 7 knots.
8-10 Aug 02 Wind still increasing to Gale Force levels blowing 20-30 kts and we saw gusts of up to 45 kts.
10 Aug 02. Godforsaken Sea: The Sea will find any/all weaknesses of your boat! We found a hydraulic leak in our steering system this morning at the hydraulic ram. The rudder bolts are also in need of repair as 1/4 has sheered off. The high winds have taken their toll. Gui and Dave are able to tighten up the hydraulic ram and slow the leak. Thank goodness, we don't believe we blew the gasket. After re-rigging our interveness (IV) hydraulic system again (i.e., from our Pacific Crossing mishap days), we are able to feed Auto and get the autopilot well fed with fluid and back up and running. Gui rigs a new through-bolt as a temporary fix for the rudder bolts that should hold us until we get to Darwin.
11 Aug 02 Things are settled now and the temporary fixes seem to be holding. All is well onboard Galatea with many miles still in this crossing.
12 Aug 02 After one week enroute from Vanuatu to Torres Straits and Thursday Island, Australia we have covered a total of 1,041 nm with individual days of (120, 150, 150, 166, 150, 160, 145). This is good mileage for us and all is well. We're in close radio contact with our friends onboard Mahe, Warna Carina and Gipsy. Mahe is headed for New Caledonia and has had these strong Gale Force winds on the nose. They are making headway, but what an uncomfortable crossing. Warna Carina and Gipsy are enroute from Somoa to Fiji and have entered the Convergence Zone. Gipsy saw 55 kts guts and broke their steering cable. Warna Carina is lying a hull (without sails) and Gipsy is hove to waiting for the convergence zone and harsh weather to pass before they can enter the channel (last 200 nm) filled with islands on their way to Suva, Fiji.
13 Aug 02 All is well on Galatea and we are in the Gulf of Papua a few days out of Bramble Cay (the Northern most point of the Great Barrier Reef). We still have about 4 more days (24 hr/day) of sailing through trechorous waters (reefs) to reach Thursday Island. Warna Carina was able to set sail again this morning enroute to Fiji. Gipsy had to change course and set sail for Vila, Vanuatu since they were not able to make the Easting necessary to enter the island passages leading to Fiji. They have about 700 nm to go to Vanuatu on an emergency tiller. We check with them daily for updates on their progress. Mahe has safely made it into New Caledonia.