Friday, March 28, 2008

Crossing the Indian Ocean

Friday March 28, 2008 3:00am
coordinates 09.20.492N,066.23.922E

We are 6 days into approximately a 2 week crossing give or take a week depending on this wind or lack there of. The first two days held very light winds out of many directions but not necessarily the direction we would like. It is amazing though when the sea is so flat and calm that you can get 3 knots of boat speed out of only 6 knots of wind. The currents in the Maldives are faster than this but we are not complaining. We'll take the calm sea and the forward progress with no motor any day of
the week. With a lot of tacking we are slowly making westward movement. Moorea, Luna and Pelikaan are floating nearby as well so we are in good company.

Day 3 brought even less wind so we had to break down and start the engine. Unfortunately that uses fuel but makes us "amp happy" as we say. So when the school work is done the boys get to play video games with all our extra electricity. We have only seen a couple of fishing boats but pods and pods of dolphins. Mostly Bottle nose or Spinner dolphins but you can tell that spring is in the air. The littlest of baby dolphins came leaping through the water at maybe 1-2 feet long. Adorable.
Day 4, 5 and 6 brought the slightest whisper of a wind back and though we didn't realize it was possible, we have been able to squeeze out 1.5 to 2 knots of speed out of 3 to 4 knots of wind. Thank goodness for what ever small currents are working in our favor. The boys have offered to hop in the water and kick for an extra push. We may have to take them up on that.
This is a whole new style of sailing for this crew, especially for that captain. Famous for constantly trimming the sails and refining our wind angle, speed has always been the name of our game. Normally with winds so light we would be rolling around and beating our sails to death. The sea is still literally glassy flat and smooth so we don't roll at all and are amazingly comfortable and lazy looking. Good thing too until the winds fill in because with just over 1000 miles left to go, we cannot
afford the chance to run the engine any more than necessary. We are content to float on by. At the current speed of 2 knots, it will only take 20 more days to get there. Bruce joked that it is half the distance of crossing the Pacific Ocean and may take us longer to get there. Hopefully not, there is a very strange smell on the wind tonight, we shall see what it brings.

Matthew let mom know early on that if we were off shore for the day it was her job to take over for the Easter Bunny. Those are big furry feet to fill. We celebrated with 6 colored eggs hidden, only to be found by the boys in about 60 seconds flat. The Easter Bunny is going to have to be more clever and make this more challenging next time. They are mildly in withdrawal without any jelly beans or chocolate bunnies but the Mentos, gum, and marshmallows that filled their goody bags seemed to do
them well.

We are all nicely settled into our crossing routines by now. With the calm seas, our shifts of odd sleep hours is working well. We take slightly different sleep schedules than do most cruisers. Bruce takes the first shift from 8pm to 1am while Lisa sleeps, Lisa's shift from 1am - 6am, and then they each fit is a 3 hour nap or so during the day. Bruce bides his time with reading, guitar and our radio nets with neighboring boats, until a new project on the boat arises. Lisa cooks and bakes, the
newest creations have been a delightful mango chutney and a rock hard coffee cake. School and games for the boys keeps the smaller crew members busy. The BBC does come in well on our Ham radio so it is fun to sit around it and keep connected to the worlds events. Each evening we all sit together to watch a movie and have dinner, then it all starts over again.
Such is life on a crossing.
until next time,
your crew on Ohana Kai

No comments: