« 128 - Polished Shoes | Main | Oh Poor Mole - Or Should They Be? »

Eric Shackle Writes: Bounty Boat Nears Journey's End

Four men in an open boat are nearing the end of a perilous 3,899-mile journey re-enacting Captain William Bligh's famoys 1789 journey, reports Eric Shackle.

Four men in an open boat have survived a perilous 3800-mile jouney from Tonga to Timor.

They are re-enacting Captain William Bligh's amazing journey in 1789, after Fletcher Christian had shanghaied a few of his men It was a triumph in navigationn that has never been equalled.

Here is the latest report from Don McIntyre http://tinyurl.com/2ahwhvn

We love the Arafura sea..these short steep wind waves generated by the relatively shallow water have been challenging.. finally they have smoothed out around midnight but not before filling the boat again right on dinner when Dave P. broached the boat on a surprise wave!.one of the 20 minute specials but NOT what we expected as the conditions had been excellent all afternoon..!

Chris and I were sitting under the dodger..Dave W on the life raft..we were all very relaxed as the sun was setting, chatting about the meaning of life..Chris had just opened a tin of lambs tounges and the next thing we started slewing over to Starbord and going down..the water started flushing over the rail as the mast headed for the water and everything in the boat went down AGAIN..

I was watching this from my seat with legs in the water half laughing and half in disbelief. Dave P was not saying anything..every one jumped into bucketing as the cockpit was full..the lambs' tounges were floating in the bilge. I grabed them and passed them to Chris as I bucketed and he ate them immediately..it was quite a funny scene really and something we are becoming familiar with and well practiced...hopefully this will be the last time.

Every time this has happened I have mixed emotions..I know the boat will not sink and I know we can fight to get it back up...BUT??

Anyway this, dare I say it, caused many laughs..finally we have all had one while at the helm..Dave P. was surprised but it happens..nice to do it with daylight!

We have lost our two top cameras to water and the electrical took a wave while I was trying to fix a leak so most is now inopperable..fortunately we have only 300 miles to go and we are right on track by the look of it..all the crew are totally absorbed on calculating the new ETA..every time our speed changes there is a new one..but I will hold with afternoon of the 16th!

The sun is setting now and all looks good 15kts of SE wind..1.5mtr seas 27 degrees C. and we are sailing at 3 to 5 knts..last night was all stars again and we could smell the land coming off Australia..Coast watch aircraft buzzed us again about an hour before Daves Broach and I was telling them about the big one the night before...it is always good to see them fly by..we must be a hard target to find even though we have our radar reflector up? a little speck in what has been some big confused seas..

We have our first Indonesian fishing vessel just behind us..we are just outside the Australian Ecenomic Zone so more should start to appear..we are alsdo seeing more plastic and rubbish in the water..yesterday when sailing at about 5kts I went straight past a huge pole..20ft long and 1.5ft in diameter..missed it by about 6feet!!..lots of old fishing gear in the water and some discarded nets..tried to pick one bit up but it is too hard for us to manouver at the last minute..lots of thongs and even a gas bottle!

Happy to report that there was no lunch for some today..had dolphins turn up..not so many birds anymore and yes I reckon we could??? catch Bligh??..now this may cause some conjecture here..and it may not be the done thing to do...very unBritish in fact ..but it will go very close..right down to the wire.....

The atmosphere onboard Talisker Bounty Boat is very boyant..Dave W is the happiest I have seen him all trip and yes we have all given up now and dream heavily on all the delights that Kupang, hotels and food will bring!! now is the time for that so these last miles are very different..I can imagine what may be going through the minds of Bligh and his men at this point..some were in a very bad way and they were getting so close.

We have carried two bottles of Talisker whiskey on board for the whole trip..one will be cracked on the beach in Kupang..the other auctioned later..there are some big times ahead..the end game is close at hand but the fat lady has not yet sung!!

Looks like another steady gentle relaxed cruisy fun night..good for sleeping and being on the helm??..I wish..fingers crossed, touch wood!!!!..Don

NEWSFLASH. The Talisker Bounty Boat is expected to complete its journey and arrive at Kupang about 5pm on June 15.


Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.