Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Careful what you wish for...

After many days of sun and a busted water maker, we kept hoping for some solid rain and were glad when it finally arrived. We happily traded a gloomy, wet day for not having to buy and lug water jugs to the boat. The rain filled both our water tanks, all our 5-gallon buckets, and all our water jugs, as well as anything else that would hold water. But it kept coming and coming. And on day 2, it was still coming. By day 3, the day that we were scheduled to leave Tello, the downpours were so heavy we didn't even venture out from the boat for most of the day. 

It's hard to know exactly, but we probably got over 24 inches of rain in those 3 days. We also had an all-time low on solar power production--only 12 amp hours for the entire day (a good sunny day can produce about 400 amp hours). A typical overcast day will still net us 100-150 amp hours, so the 12 hours is a good indication of just how dark and thick the clouds and rain were. 

We took advantage of a short break in the rain to buy, lug and filter 400 liters of diesel. The winds have been light so we have been doing a lot of motoring lately... and there always seems to be a current against us.

On the plus side, our fishing drought seems to have been broken. We caught our first mahi-mahi and Spanish Mackerel in a long time, as well as getting a big hit that took a lure. These days we get to see a lot of dolphins on our passages (the ones lately have been very small). Today we saw a sailfish jump about five times in a row and another one swimming around the boat with it's sail sticking out of the water.

The area along West and Northwest Sumatra where we have been traveling lately is renowned for its surfing. So far, the weather and surf spots haven't been very welcoming for our beginner crew (e.g. Conrad and Matt). But now that we are in Lagundri Bay, both the weather and the surf seem more promising.

We did get to do some diving in The Playgrounds area of Mentawai. It was no Raja Ampat, but we were usually able to see something interesting on our dives.

The clown fish in front of me are a bit perturbed by my closeness

A blue variety of the Crown of Thorns starfish

Lots of fishing boats


  1. Hi! I'm curious how you collect the rainwater to get it into your water tanks? Just buckets or do you have a more sophisticated system? Also do you drink the rain water? Thanks!

  2. Matt rigged up some PVC pipes (one on each side) with holes that funnel water from the hardtop to a series of hoses that lead to a single hose, which we put through an inline filter that in turn goes into our tanks. We have two tanks and switch sides if one gets full. There is also a filter for water coming out of the tanks, which we drink and its delicious! So much better than RO water in my view. We also try to make sure the boat is rinsed before we start collecting. The inline filter does get a bit manky in dirtier areas.


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