Friday, April 13, 2012

From: 02 26.5N 074 25.8E in the middle of the Laccidive Sea, Indian Ocean (who knew there was such a sea???)
Yesterday we had been at sea for a week and we had gone a grand total of 390nm, subtracting the time motoring, we have been sailing at fantastic speed of 1.95nm/hour, that is Velocity Made Good or if you track all our tacking and calculated miles actually sailed it is 2.44nm/hour. Which ever way you look at it we are definitely not living life in the fast lane! Our philosophy is that once we get to Chagos we just have to wait, so why use up our fuel when we got nothing but time.  The preferred time for a passage from Chagos to Mauritius is in June, so since we are only allowed a month at Chagos the longer we take to get there, the closer we will be to the optimum time for making our next passage.
We saw a turtle yesterday, he was about a foot in diameter (those of you brought up with the metric system, just convert, I know you can do it, 2.54 cm to an inch, 12 inches in a foot).  He was just hanging out swimming around as we sailed up to him.  He popped his head up about 5 times and took a look at us, he was fairly blase about it, putting his head up and then down and doing his turtle thing, flapping a flipper around, turning slowly in the water.  Finally when we were really close, I could have touched her with the boat hook, she decided to take off and she dove.  We could see her flippering away for a long time. The visibility was fantastic and she just kept going down, down, down until we lost sight of her in the deep.
There was next to no wind so I decided that the spinnaker would be a great idea (wrong again).  We put it up and down three times before the wind decided which side it was going to stay on, that should have been a clue.  Once it was up the poor sail just flopped around limply, half filling occasionally, I think we actually got to 1 knot of speed once.  Anyway, we were going no where fast and I figured that turtle had the right idea so I jumped in.  The water was so warm it was like a bath tub, you didn't cool off at all, it was the same temperature as the air. The spinnaker was still up and I was doing laps around the boat.  I climbed up the ladder and Barry jumped in and checked out the barnacle situation on the prop.  I have the best picture of just his legs visible coming out from under the boat.
Last night was ugly, there were huge dark rain clouds covering over half of the horizon.  I was darker than sin and then the sky would light up with the flash of lightning.  It went on for hours, lightning is just so scary when you are on the water. The sails would be flogging around doing very little and then the squall would hit and there would be 20 knots of wind across your bow. The boat would be screaming along, heeling way over and we would scramble around trying to reduce sail, oh yeah, did I mention it was raining too.  Not our finest night, that's for sure.
This morning our beloved stool went overboard.  It is a plastic spool that had 100 meters of line on it, my Mom made a cover for it and it is great for sitting up behind the wheel.  It also doubles as an extra seat at the dining table.
the stool went overboard and Barry came about and I was at the bow with the boat hook ready to rescue it.  Cat's-Paw IV just did not have enough steerage to come close enough to reach it with the boat hook so rather than see our handy dandy stool float off, I jumped in to get it.  I got it just fine but found it was water logged and very heavy and awkward to swim with.  The boat was slowly sailing away as I was trying to swim to it, Barry tossed me a line and I pulled myself and the stool into safety.  Oh, the things that keep us occupied while at sea.
Check out our position by clicking on the link on the side panel of the blog.  I try and post it daily, then you too can marvel at how slowly we really are going!!!