Pretty perfect conditions on our third night of voyage 31. The breeze has settled in the ENE at 15 knots and we are sailing at 6-7 knots making just East of South. The sea is slight, just the regular trade wind 6′ swell running. The beam wind keeps her steady at about 5 degrees of heel and little rolling. The young moon is setting in the West and the sky is clear, the temperature balmy. Only the clanging of the freeing ports disturbs the sweet sound of the ocean swishing past this old hull, proving once again how easily she drives through the water. We are loaded well but still 6 inches remain above the Plimsoll Line. The side decks are not full of lumber so the lee side is a foot deep in seawater. Aloft the mainsail, 3 headsails and the topsail set their curves for power mode.
Voyage 31 is just to the Line Islands and undertaken at the request of our biggest customer in Christmas Island. They are low on stock, especially beer, so we have postponed the wheelhouse refit for a month to make this trip to keep them supplied. In the end we loaded 400m3, down from our usual 500, but still a fine load. The biggest single cargo is 30 1000lb bales of used clothing, followed by 18 lifts of lumber, 2.6m3 each, 18 pallets of beer, and 120 more of general cargo, mostly foodstuffs.
After a Sunday of rest with 3 hands in each watch, Kwai has settled down to 3 watches of 2 persons and 4 hands plus the Cook on day work. With occasional spray coming aboard there is no painting going on. The engineers are installing a water cooler and new fridge and cleaning the Engine Room, the Bosun and a Deckhand short splicing frayed dock lines and whipping and splicing a new one. The Mate ran a fire drill this afternoon, with man overboard and abandon ship drills to follow in the next 2 days. Three fat fish have come for dinner, and even 2 passing ships! After the rush of shopping, cargo and city hustle, life at sea has settled into a quiet routine with the 11 crew and 1 passenger all working together to make this magic machine hiss through the ocean, full of goodies, homeward bound for most of the crew. And others, leaving hearts with family ashore, send our love across the waves. And a special salute and thanks go out tonight to our office family, who work so hard to keep the ship in this groove.
Aloha, Captain Brad