South China Sea Passage

Here we go…across the South China Sea!

The South China Sea is an arm of the western Pacific Ocean bounded by southeast China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Borneo, and Vietnam. Yessiree…I didn’t know any of that a short time ago. Funny what you pay attention to when your a__ is about to be in the soup! The SC Sea is infamous for it’s rough monsoon weather and, I also happened to note that it is one of the most heavily traveled sea lanes in the world. Uggg, rough seas and lots of big ships coming at you – something to look forward to!

Ok, so we are about to run across the SC Sea from Hong Kong to San Fernando on the Philippine island of Luzon. Our weather consultant/router “Weather Bob” says it looks a little messy for our 3-day passage. At this time of year the winter northeast monsoon winds are supposedly transitioning to the summer pattern – southwest and we anticipated crossing the S. China Sea in the transitional lull. But Mother Nature does not always keep her appointments, and the lull has not formed up, meaning it is rough as hell out there!

Sooo… we are watchful waiting to see if there is a weather window we can squeeze through and make the passage. Braun is just as content to stay here and wait it out at his favorite hangout in Wan Chai, some dive called the Old China Hand. Go figure.

But it is time for us to bid farewell to Hong Kong. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our stay here.

The Gold Coast Marina in New Territories

On board are fellow crew members, Wayne Davis who crossed the Atlantic with us on the 2004 Nordhavn Atlantic Rally on his own Nordhavn ’46, ‘Envoy’. He and his wife, Patricia have been a huge help to us the last two seasons cruising the boat across the Pacific on the GSSR and, through Japan, Taiwan and, ultimately here to Hong Kong. Jose Gutierrez helped us all 6 weeks crossing the Atlantic and, he and Wayne were there to get us through the Panama Canal in 2008. Bottom line…the galley wench just needs to prepare meals and show up for her scheduled watchJ

Photo of the strappin’ crew

It didn’t hurt that we passed one of the oldest Chinese temples in Hong Kong, Man Mo Temple…to burn a little inscense for “good joss” – “good luck”

A typical street in Western Central Hong Kong

Lastly, we just found out about the Nordhavn advertisement in the latest PassageMaker (April 2011) magazine. It’s the photo of our boat entering the Strait of Gibraltar taken by Ken Williams from his Nordhavn 62, ‘Sans Souci’. We found it interesting that in all the years Nordhavn has been building different boats, and most recently lots of beautiful “white-yacht” type boats…they selected the older Nordhavn 62 to represent their company. Nordhavn is supposedly not building any more 62s. We saw the hull mold in Taiwan last year when we visited the Ta Shing yard where the 62s were built. It was unceremoniously laid out in a back lot buried in the weeds! So we are honored that they choose a shot of the ‘Pearl’ for their latest ad. The old girl still has plenty of life in her.

Photo of N62 hull at the Ta Shing yard in the weeds

Grey Pearl out –

Tina, Braun, Wayne & Jose

p.s. Go Kentucky Wildcats…BEAT UConn Huskies!

The Argosy’s are HUGE UConn fans…:)