What a busy week behind us! We have been running left, right and centre to collect the last pieces of equipment, spares, school supplies and medication. We’ve also done a lot of administrative work, finalised boat installations, checked the status of gear, programmed radio channels and so on. We are happy to say that the boat will be ready to go by Monday (13 days behind schedule, but that really isn’t too bad!).
However, now that our attention has turned to the weather for real, we are starting to realise (or perhaps the right word is “admit”) that we may have to wait a while still before proceeding eastwards. We always knew that it would not be easy to find a suitable weather window in March, with the northeast monsoon still in full force. Nevertheless, we were hoping for one to appear (surely there had to be some beginner’s luck for us?!). For a little while, it looked like there might actually be a window early this coming week, but it has narrowed down and were we to leave, we would be pushing straight into 25-knot winds after 1-2 days. Not to mention the waves and swell from different directions that the area is known for, which in the words of a far more experienced sailor result in a “washing machine” effect during the NE monsoon. We just don’t want that sort of a first leg on our journey; there would be a real risk that everyone would run off the boat when we reach Taiwan and never return!
So, while fine-tuning the boat and bemoaning the weather over a glass of wine (or a cup of cocoa in the case of the girls), we are considering other, temporary sailing grounds closer to home. Those may not take us where we ultimately want to go, but at least we would get out of our berth.