Changing tack on a long passage involves certain lifestyle changes. For example for the last 11 days I was doing everything leaning to the right, now my leanings have shifted a distinct left! Not unlike our politicians I suppose! My galley being to the Port side and the boat leaning on the same side I could leave one odd cabinet open while cooking, this morning while preparing breakfast the contents tumbled out because the boat had started leaning to Starboard! While the doldrums near the equator drove us nuts with the squalls and shifty winds they also showed us some spectacular sunrises and sunsets. The beauty of the human mind is that the bad memories get erased quickly while the good ones stay on. So the bad weather is already a distant memory while the vividness of the sunrise on 30 Aug will remain in my head for a long time.On the morning of 31 Aug 09 at 0848 hrs, Mhadei crossed in the Southern hemisphere at longitude 090 Deg 23' E! King Neptune who resides at the equator took one look at us and remarked,"You two! Not again!" This being our third crossing since May this year. Slightly North of the Equator the wind shifted to SSE making us head North East so it was time to tack and head SSW, a course we will maintain till almost 35 Deg South, then turn East for the home run to Fremantle. Looks like we found the South east trade winds right from the word go as we have been getting a steady breeze since morning. It takes us back to West a bit but atleast we are moving. What a change from the last 11 days! Both the wind and swell are against us so we are bouncing nicely but thats better than wallowing around in light winds and worrying about squalls. It was good to cross the line finally!
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
We seem to have sailed into the heartland of squalls and all of them seem to be curious about us and intent on checking us out. Need to be on deck all the time. Looks like tonight is going to be spent in Rain gear!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I have been complimented about Mhadei's good looks and seen her attaract crowds in a Marina but never thought that this ability will extend to attaracting squalls! Saw it first hand last night when I would see a number of cloud patches on the radar, slowly they would gather together right on top of us, stay there and vent their contents on us with a vengence. The contents are mainly 30 to 40 kts of gusty winds and tons of water. It is a nightmare to have this happen to you several times on a pitch dark night near a shipping lane. Luckily I had put in a reef in the main sail and furled the Genoa to minimise the damage. Still no choice but to be up on the deck in your raingear trying to control the boat. The entire night was spent like that and by day break I was absolutely worn out. The wind had died out almost completely so instead of taxing the autopilot and myself anymore, locked the rudder and went to sleep. Must have slept for a couple of minutes and was woken up by the boat healing over 30 deg. Another squall had hit and Mhadei was going all over. Started hand steering to control her when probably due to lack of sleep or poor judgement the boat went into an accidental gybe, the boom crashing on the starboard runner and the boat behaving even more awkardly. Tried to rectify my mistake and the boom slammed back to its correct position but in doing so the mainsheet got snagged with the boat compass uprooting it. The compass is undamaged but its stainless steel mounting has broken. One job for the next port. Also noticed that the top two battens have broken probably due the continous flapping of the sails in nil wind conditions. Though I have spare battens it will be quite a task changing them at sea so will probably do it in port. May affect the efficiency of the sails while going upwind but thats better than messing around things at sea. Things improved by afternoon and I even managed to get
Monday, August 24, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Through the day I was becalmed, since 2100 cruising at over 9 kts in 20 kts of wind. There is a huge cloud mass on me almost moving with me and its pouring buckets outside. The rain screen designed by Abhilash and Ratnakar has already proved its worth keeping me and the insides of Mhadei dry. Looks like another long night ahead but atleast we are moving!
The Sausage Pulao was delicious and should keep me going through the night!