Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Perils of Sailing a good looking boat

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
 some badly needed sleep. In the afternoon my old friend Cdr Paresh Sawhney came visiting with his ship. We had served together in the Eastern Fleet in 1995 as Lieutenants and it was nice to see him commanding a fleet ship. The truth that good things have to follow bad ones has been amply demonstrated tonight. As I write, its a cool, clear night outside  with a brilliant half moon, the wind is blowing steadily at about 20 to 25 kts and Mhadei is cruising at 8 kts on a broad reach in a folllowing sea. Absolutely perfect sailing conditions!


chatty said...

cool your back and your wind

Ravi K said...

Good Going Sir. Wish you all the best. Will be following your blog.

raj said...

My Dear Dilip,
You're not alone..You have the Blessings of so many Friends and Well-wishers with You in your endeavour, following everyday developments...
On behalf of the entire course5719(57 NDA/19 NA), I wish you Fair winds and Following seas for you vouyage ahead...God Bless !

Cdr R Dutta

Rashmi said...

Dilip we are with you all the way. Nice going and keep up the GOOD WORK!!. Enjoy some Rasam. Ravi And Rashmi

pracs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pracs said...

Hey you r a real resilient, te journey has just began, more challenges to be faced ahead but am sure you will manage everything perfectly. Give my love to Mhadei, i miss her,she is indeed a wonderful boat

Amitabha Ghosh said...

Hi Sir,
Am an ex Naval Officer working with L&T. Knew about your trip but not the blog.
Will be following it on daily basis.

Wish you fair winds and following seas. All the best.

Best regards,

viji said...

hi Dilip,
Great to see you on TV. Missed you last time when you visited Kochi.Will be following you on daily basis.
Wish you all the success in your mission.

Viji & Suman

SUBIR said...

Hey, last night must have been hectic. Try and catch sleep whenever you can. As you have rightly pointed out, lack of sleep definitely affects good judgment. So sleep well whenever you get the chance. The high level of physical exertion will definitely come in handy in the absence of a lullaby.

Sailing has often been compared to life. More on it the next time I write in.

Take good care. Subir.

SUBIR said...

Hi once again,

Can't see your post for 23 Aug 09. I assume you were observing Sunday routine. Old habits die hard. Do you also pipe hand's call, stand easy, pipe down etc. You must, especially considering that MHADEI almost became an INS or did she actually become an INS - please update the outdated!!!

I agree that the enthusiasm of the initial team has not morphed onto newcomers - much is the pity. Not to worry - it is the 'KIKNS' effect.
Using this forum to convey my regards to the Admiral Sir (Admiral Manohar Awati). Sir, you dream is being fulfilled.

Take care Subir.

SUBIR said...

Hi Dilip,

Try the link for great music (juke box with fantastic speed streaming great uninterrupted music.)


neha said...

Sounds like a terribly hectic night. Hope you got to catch up on some sleep during the day. Stay alert.

krishan said...

Dear dilip,
Reading ur blog churns our cadets/mids knowledge abt sailing terminoligies.Grt doing jobs of entire ships coy all alone.To be very frank i am selfish in assotiating with u. vr proud of u.
happy sailing and god bless u.
cdr Godara

GS said...

Fair winds bro, that Dosa ... wow, we're all following you, Cheers n good luck,

Vikshar said...

Your boat was well covered by a reporter in Hindustan Times a couple of days back. All the best and keep us informed.I put your news on the Dte display regularly to inspire jointmanship and adventure in our youngsters.
Vikas Sharma

Ajit said...

Hi Dilip, I hope you get time to make some of your special 'sausage pullav'....

DS Pathania said...

Great! Shabassh Sir Ji, I am really enjoying the adventure with you whilst going throug your blog. Good luck.

seema said...

Its great to see someone acting out something what the rest of us mortals only mouth .... 'Life isnt about waiting for the Storm to pass, Its about learning how to dance in the rain' ( Anon ). Way to go, Dilip! Fair Winds and Following Seas , Kirat and Seema

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