Saturday, January 22, 2011

Across the Prime Meridian

This afternoon while some of the crew was enjoying a siesta, Mhadei quietly sailed across the Prime Meridian and entered the Western Hemisphere. The second time in less than a year for her. Last year this day she was at Falkland Islands, licking her bruises after rounding the Horn and getting ready for her first Atlantic crossing.

Compared to the last crossing when she and her skipper got thumped nicely in the Southern Ocean, the present crossing has been a pleasure cruise so far. Moderate winds & seas, temperature in the 20s, pleasant company, clear moonlit nights, the conditions can almost be described as idyllic! Except that we are racing and need stronger breezes to compete against the lighter boats in the fleet. The weather forecast doesn't seem too optimistic on that count so far! For now the crew has settled down nicely in the peaceful rhythm that only a long sea sortie can bring!  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Off to Rio




All good things have to come to an end and so did our stay at Cape Town as we crossed the start line along with 16 other boats for the Heineken Cape to Rio race at noon on 15 Jan. The stay at Cape Town, the second in a year, was memorable both for the boat and the crew. While the crew could re-charge their batteries at the "Tavern of the Seas", meeting up old friends & making new ones, the boat was treated to some TLC in terms of minor repairs and maintenance.

     It was great to be hosted by the Royal Cape Yacht Club who are also organizing the race. Info about the race and the club including photos & a tracker to see the positions of all the boats is available at www.rcyc.co.za & www.capetorio.heineken.com

        Looking forward to a good race and a fast passage to the much talked about city of Rio de Janeiro across the Atlantic.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

South of Madagascar

Mhadei crossed about 150 Nm South of the Island of Madagascar this morning and is now rushing for the South Eastern tip of the African continent in good following winds and seas. The winds are predicted to remain Easterly for the next two days which should translate into some fast progress as we get closer to the fast moving Agulhas current and a fast passage to Cape Town in time for New Years! Bets are on, on board, whether we celebrate the New Year's in Cape Town or at Sea! A bit too early to predict yet. We will get a better idea in the next few days!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Across the Line yet again!

Mhadei crossed the Equator and got back in the Southern Hemisphere at 0258 on 03 Dec 10. This crossing, the fifth in eighteen months was rather interesting. A rouge minion of Neptune in the form of a nasty squall was waiting to ambush her within minutes of entering the Southern Hemisphere. Luckily the same had been detected on the radar and the boat was well prepared for it when it hit. All it could do in the end was to send her a bit off course at a fast clip while giving plenty of cool fresh water to the crew to have a shower and wash clothes!

We have been getting good steady winds since the last two days, translating into good progress on a Southerly course. We will continue heading South till we meet the South Easterly trade winds which will help us shape a straight downwind course to the South African coast.

As I write, it is a beautiful starlit night outside with a sky so clear and stars so bright that the horizon is visible by starlight alone! Mhadei is sailing along merrily on a cool steady Westerly breeze. A perfect time to lie out on the deck and do some stargazing!

Posting some pics by Gautam Khajuria, on his first trip with Mhadei.



    

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In the clutches of Doldrums


The wind gods still seem to be paying little attention to us, thus we continue to sail whenever we can and motor the rest of the time. The last three days we were experiencing almost 3.5 kts of current against us! That and the light winds have made the progress painfully slow. The equatorial line squalls have not relented though and keep us company for a couple of hours, mostly at night, sending gusty winds and of course some refreshing cold showers for the crew.

Sighting some of the islands of Maldives was probably the only event through an otherwise dull day. Well, so I was thinking, lying down on the deck after sunset, gazing at a clear sky when suddenly I heard the unmistakable sound of a Dolphin exhaling close by. Jumped to take a look at it in the dark night and was greeted with an absolutely stunning sight! Since it was dark, the Dolphin itself was not visible but its motion was creating a streak of bio luminescence in the water as it moved! The Dolphin kept racing with the boat creating eerie blue streaks after itself and splashes accompanied by the “whoosh” sound of it exhaling when it surfaced. The streaks would become dull as it went deeper and brighten up as it closed the surface. What a sight! It’s a pity that we couldn’t capture the moment on a camera. Well I suppose some sights of the sea can only be enjoyed at sea!