Marcel Van Trieste with the latest from the stricken VOR yacht Brasil 1 23/1/06

So this morning we finally met with our date; the fishing vessel ‘Ocean
Wild II’ (we didn’t bother asking what ever happened to Ocean Wild I).
Quite amazing after two weeks at sea without any sign of human activity to
see a boat come over the horizon on a collision course (with compliments
of the Pentagon and Inmarsat).

After discussing some technicalities about fuel transfers and towing we
decided to transfer fuel only and not tow Brasil 1 as the speed increase
would be marginal and there is always a bit of risk involved.

The captain of Ocean Wild, called Louis, had already prepared 10
containers with fuel (some real jerrycans, some metal, some out of the
kitchen with the contents being temporarily stored in garbage bags!)
giving us our first 200 litres. It was clear that these guys have
experience as they first of all dumped a buoy and then one by one the
containers came out with a five metre rope in between.

We picked up the buoy and brought the containers onboard one by one
without any problems. While Kiko (Henrique Pellicano) was emptying these
into our tanks we filled in the details of Louis’s earlier offer of fish!
So with the second fuel transfer came along: a pan, oranges, eggs, soft
drinks (sorry mate a dry boat was the answer to our: any beer question!)
and the most spectacular piece of swordfish. Marcello got the plancha
going and within half an hour the fish was gone: sashimi, seared, fried.

Chatted some more about fish, fishing and the economies of fishing with
Louis (who turned out to be a Kiwi). Of this conversation most is not
suitable for the general public. Let’s just say that it’s one endangered
species chasing after some other endangered species!

Right now we’re heading due east under our own engine with a slight
headwind. The reason for this is that Tropical Cyclone ‘Daryl’ is working
his/her way down the Australian coast to add some more excitement to our
trip. By staying south longer it is our intention to get the strong winds
later and have a better angle toward Fremantle so that we can sail with
our jury-rig as it is totally impossible to motor against any serious
breeze with these boats.

At the moment the situation seems quite manageable but we’re keeping our
options open as I know very little about Australian Tropical Cyclones, but
if they’re anything like our North Atlantic hurricanes that means that
their behaviour can be erratic!

Ocean Wild II is motoring along besides us (nice to have an escort!) and
we will transfer fuel (maybe some more fish) again before nightfall and
then one last time tomorrow morning. After that the breeze will kick in
and we’ll be pretty much on our own again.

540 miles to go to Fremantle.

Signing off,

Marcel Van Trieste – navigator