It has been 20 days since we left Mumbai and we have covered over 3000 Nm so far. Not too bad! More or less what was expected. Though we still have over 2000 Nm to cover once we get in the Westerlies and start making some Easting. As I was making my position report in the evening, I realised that despite covering almost 80 Nm through the day, the distance to Fremantle had remained constant at 1900 Nm miles since morning! It may actually start increasing if we don't make any easterly progress soon! Well such are the ways of Sail boats! Covering these 3000 miles also means that Mhadei has sailed over 10,000 miles in her brief service with the navy since 12 Feb 09. Thats 10,000 miles in less than 07 months with hardly a whimper! I think the credit entirely goes to her builder Ratnakar Dandekar and his team at Aquarius Fibreglas, Goa. I hope atleast now the "Great Indian Bureaucracy" will relent and pay up the rest of the money due on the boat!
As we near the Tropic of Capricorn the seas have calmed a bit and the wind has reduced. At the cost of coming down in speed a little I am still keeping the two reefs and stay sail on through the night just in case the wind decides to change its mind and starts blowing again. While we have done sail changes and reefing at night it is always avoidable & uncomfortable, specially now that it has also started getting cold. I think we are away from the opperesive tropical heat till next year! In fact henceforth the sun will be welcome, as I discovered this morning when I saw a cloudy sky and remarked to myself that its going to be a cold day and it would have been nicer if it was a clear sunny day! 20 days back I would have said the exact opposite!
The covering of the 3000 miles passage was duly celebrated with an impromptu recepie of Corned mutton garnished with Onions and Gherkins. When the cook decided to serve the same fare for dinner because he doesn't like wasting food, the Skipper had had enough and decided to wash it down with some soup first followed by the last can of Phoenix Beer from Ile Maurice from the last trip. No more beer on board till Freo but a good stock of South African Vines and Cognac for the special occasions!
The improvement in weather was also celebrated by the screening of the movie Chicago! One of the crew's all time favourite! Since morning all that has been watched are the promos & and behind the scenes sections etc. The actual screening is scheduled on completion of this blog when the battery charging will be over, the engine cut off and there will be silence on board to enjoy the fabulous soundtrack!