Its around 2130, the crew has been well fed on a diet of brown rice and dehydrated spinach while Mhadei is enjoying a cruise on a broad reach in over 20 kts of steady breeze with a following sea. Rain through the day has brought down the temperatures and the radio is still picking up songs. Almost perfect! Makes you wonder if last night actually happened!
Last night soon after I wrote the blog, the wind died out making the sails flap around violently. Furled the headsail and lashed the boom and the wind picked up to 30 kts. Got up and set the sails and the wind decided to vanish again. The cycle of squalls with shifty winds continued through the night making me forget the number of jybes I made just to stay straight. In the middle of one such jybes the Raymarine auto pilot decided to strike work! Luckily the Jeffa autopilot held fort and we managed to come through. The extra winches fitted at the last minute came in handy. Looks like the trouble of clearing them from cutoms and fitting them was well worth the effort. As if the wind wasn't enough, the moths struck with a vengence. The constant shifting of sails must have disturbed them, so when I was not struggling with the sails and getting wet outside, I was honing my shooting skills with a can of insect repellant inside the boat. These shifty and light winds can drive one absolutely nuts. It also tends to damage things as I discovered in the morning. The mainsail clew shackle, and its a real heavy duty SS shackle, had come off. The siezing wire had broken off and the threads worn out probably due to the constant slatting of the mainsail. Luckily a pare was available. One lazy jack was off and entangled with the starboard runner; was lucky to catch it before it was too late. Will see whats wrong with the Raymarine auto pilot tomorrow.
Morning was absolutely windless with some swell. In a way that was good as I could check out the damage of the night and replace the shackle etc. Been getting good winds since afternoon. Started with a squall but the wind has continued, from North West! And I thought it was the season for South West Monsoons. There are regular squalls passing over but they don't seem to go over 30 kts very often, well within the capabilities of my most important crew member, the Jeffa autopilot.
Covered over 50 Nm in the last 6 hrs, crossed Mangalore about 65 Nm away from land and now passsing the Kerala coast 67 Nm to the East.