Date: July 24, 2016, 4 a.m. Position: 11 30.09 S, 115 19.02 E

We smashed out 169 NM on our noon-to-noon distance since yesterday. It’s as if Privateer is on an invisible conveyor belt. And in the 12 hours preceding the noon position, we covered a whopping 92 NM. If we could keep this speed up, we’d have a 184 NM day… Alas, we’ve slowed down a bit because we reefed the main at sunset. Safety and comfort come before any kind of record-breaking attempts. It looks like the winds will build a bit all the way through until we near Christmas Island.

Last night and all the way into this afternoon we continued to cross paths with the north and southbound freighters. At one point, Privateer was surrounded by a circle of 7 freighters! We’d read that Australia has the highest per capita level of consumerism in the world (even more than the USA), and here was the visual proof. We could smell the bunker fuel on the sea air. “Frontier Explorer”, “Dong-a Leto”, “Ocean Garlic”, and “Shin Heir” were just a handful of the eclectic freighter names that crossed our bow.

We’re back in quieter waters now and dealing with just a few odd fishing vessels. Around noon one of our Monitor control lines parted, frayed apart by continual use. Kelsey grabbed the helm while I quickly trimmed off the frayed end and re-set the gear, and we were back on our way again. We continue the wing-and-wing sail plan, occasionally tacking the Yankee over when the winds go more southerly.

Kelsey had a bit of a rough day with Taz. He was all ramped up and trying to run around the cabin, but she had to restrict his movements in the seaway, and he wouldn’t take his nap. He’s cutting his 11th tooth now, with 4 breaking the surface at once, and his face is a continuous slather of drool.

Every day we pull the sun over our stern and she sets just off the starboard bow. Every day we pull the moon over our stern and she sets off the port bow. Like a giant celestial backstroke, the heavenly bodies are our arms dipping into the seas and guiding us across the Indian Ocean. One glance is all it takes to know what time it is and what direction we are heading. We briefly got blown off course today and I immediately recognized that the sun was shining on a different part of the bulkhead down below, as I was napping. Such is the way your senses become attuned at sea. There’s almost no need for a compass.

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