Thursday, September 3, 2009

Out of the Doldrums Romping in Trade Winds

Yesterday afternoon, becalmed after going through yet another squall, we drifted across an invisible line and finally stumbled into the Trade Winds! The wind picked up in a matter of minutes and stayed with us. In fact by midnight it became a bit too much for comfort necessitating another reef in the main and replacement of the big Genoa with the smaller Stay sail. While the trades make you move they also build up the sea. Also since they are blowing from exactly the same direction we need to go, we have to sail close to them and the resultant swell. The result is that Mhadei has been tossing and slamming around as if possesed! Needless to say everything onboard has to be done slowly, mostly with one hand, the other being busy holding on to the nearest handhold. Often the waves wash over the boat so all Port holes need to be closed, making the insides warm & humid and you get drenched with salt water sitting on the deck.
     This state is likely to continue for a week atleast with the weather forecast promising 26 kts of breeze and 5 mtr waves in the next two days! We are also getting slowly pushed to the West due to the direction of the wind and the waves which means once we are South of the trade winds we will need to travel that much more to the East. Well as of now there is nothing much we can do about it but grin and bear it or on the tossing Mhadei it should be "grip and bear it"! Though this is anyday better than the wallowing around in the doldrums. The squalls have reduced in their frequency and intensity. Also since we are already moving with reduced sail, when a squall hits it cannot do as much damage as when under full sails. The cook has started serving quick fix meals of almost ready to eat food instead of the elaborate menus of dosas and hot "Dal - Chawal"!
     Tonight, as I write, there is a glorious full moon up in the sky. We left B'bay on a new moon. Its been 15 days and 2200 Nm so far. Wondering whether we will make it by the next new moon!                       
                                       
                 

9 comments:

Madhumita said...

Dadu, We didn't get the blog update last evening. Then there was this news about Earth Quake in sea near Indonesia. We tried to get any updates of Tsunami floating around and found none. In the meanwhile we get this update and are happy that you now have less squalls and the trade winds are taking Mhadei much faster. Take good care.- Miludada

Jaydeep said...

Dilip, Good good to hear from you again after 2 days silence. :) ...

Rashmi said...

Good to hear that you have natural propulsion in abundance. Enjoy!!

pracs said...

We all your close ones are so concerned for you, but it is so unfortunate that our media/government is so aloof. May be after the flag off everything was over for them, its such a pity te journey began after that.your updates should have come in some regular English newspaper or channel so that rest of Indians could at least know that one of their pal is right in te mid of te sea , trying to do something which would add glory to te country.

i am sure nothing will be done now, only when you came back there will big camera flashes and artificial goody parties......

when you don't write it makes me hollow, your every difficult move should have been captured........

take care and its nice to read the other supportive comments from your friends, family,juniors,seniors - am sure this is ur real strength to move ahead .........

tell tale said...

Gunning for Freemantle by 26th?

- abhilash

Amitabha Ghosh said...

Sir,
Good to see your post after 2 days. The moon sighting must be amazing amongst the vastness and solitude.

Happy sailing.

Regards,
Amitabha

pallavi said...

Hey Dilip really missed your articles for 2days.

May you have a happy sailing. God bless you and take care.!!

zenobia said...

Hi Dilip

Love your blog..do update it regularly..even on sundays..how about posting two times in a day..morning posts and evening posts. We don't want to miss anything out on this exciting journey of yours.

Fair winds and following seas. (Love the sailing lingo! :))

SUBIR said...

Hi Dilip,
Happy romping in the trade winds.
Take Care.