Thursday, May 6, 2010

Across the Equator

We bid goodbye to the Southern hemisphere today after spending eight eventful months in it and crossed into the Northern hemisphere at 1639 local time. This was our fourth Equator crossing in less than a year so Neptune's sentinels let us pass without even giving us a second glance! So far the progress has been better than expected though the doldrums must have shifted North with the Sun and we may yet encounter them as we move North. Since last two days, contrary to all weather predictions we have been getting strong Westerly winds. If these are an indication of an early SWly monsoon setting in, we should be extremely lucky because in that case the doldrums will be in a disturbed state and we can get out of their clutches easily.

It is getting increasingly hot by the day with the temperature inside the boat refusing to come down below 32 C at any time! All the water that evaporates from the sea during the hot day comes down at night as thunder showers with strong gusty winds and sheets of rain! So we are settling into an interesting routine of staying awake during the night controlling the boat and unable to sleep during the day due to the heat!

The chef suffered a bit of a setback today with the discovery or rather non discovery of any butane gas in the gas cylinder. That definitely is the end of any cooking on board and the chef will need to be at his creative best to make unheated canned food taste palatable till we reach home 1200 Nm away!  


Anonymous said...

Dear Dilip,
It is HOT, +32 or more. I guess that the temperature in the sea must be rather high too. Sorry to hear about that you have run out of butane gas, interesting though to hear how the chef will solve the problem. Sail on safe.
Ingrid, Tyreso, Sweden

swati said...

Congrats for crossing the equator. Managing with out the cooking gas is going to be some challenge for the chef...sailing is never without happenings...This means no hot cofee too....oh oh...

Chef is being tested for his culinary skills I suppose. All the best


45° 31′ 0.02″ N, 73° 39′ 0.02″ W said...

हाय Dilip & Mahdei,

Must be quite spectacular to watch!

Inside a tin box within 4 hours in the sun anything will cook! Much faster for boiling water or cooking an egg or veggies... Of course there has to be sunshine.

Good winds!


SaltyDog said...

Commander Donde,

Welcome back to the Northern Hemisphere. I’m so sorry to here that the executive chef has run out of butane. That will diminish the quality of life a bit for the captain and crew. I agree with Pracs that there should be a grand welcoming for you when complete your historic voyage. You are certainly deserving.

Take care, Dilip, and enjoy your final chapter.


Vaishali said...

Congratulations on crossing the equator once again! It was quite interesting to read about the current weather pattern. Looking forward to hearing about the use of solar energy in your next blog :-) Hope there is quite a lot of fanfare in welcoming you back home. Take care and enjoy the last leg of your voyage.

Aus said...

You are nearly home so I hope the chef manages to find food to last till you can again sit down and do some fine dining!!

Safe sailing for the last part of your journey

Ratnakar said...

Hi Dilip,
Congratulations on crossing the Equator once again.

Welcom to this part of the world.



Bob said...

Dilip, perhaps your footman or maybe the coachman could hop in a zodiac if you have one and proffer the needed supplies from nearby friendly natives? Meanwhile, the Captain could take a nap! Bob

Anonymous said...

Well done.
You and Jessica will soon be home.
Congratulations, sir.
Richard (QLD) Aus

GROOVE-Y said...

muy interesante blog! A question: is this expedition an official trip? or a part of a personal journey?

Scott said...

Sorry to hear about the stove. Necessity is the mother of all invention, though, so I'm sure you'll come up with great new dishes.

Scott, Denver, Colorado, USA

RichieParis said...

Hello Commander Dilip,
Thank you for this update and welcome back to our hemisphere... finally, after all these up and downs!
But I am so sorry about tha gas cylinder! It hasn't been changed in Cape Town... Tragic mistake.
Should you go back, or have one delivered by courier?
Or simply, be patient?
I guess you have no other choice than hanging on.
Be brave!

Anonymous said...


Krishna said...

Dear Sir!

Congrats on crossing the Equator. Sorry 2 hear u ran out of cooking gas. Well u can now try some new stunts in cooking which u vood have never done.


Evie from Bendigo said...

Hello Dilip.
Congratulation on your final crossing of the Equator and your final leg home to India. I do not envy you the temperatures, it gets hotter than 32 degrees here in Bendigo during the summer at times but at least I have ways of cooling down. Maintain your fluid intake and your salt levels. Food in that heat can be a bit off putting but can I suggest that you put the tins in a sealed plastic bag and put them in the sun and they will heat up ready for you to eat.
Take care. Enjoy your last few weeks at sea.
Evie from Bendigo

chatty said...

Welcome back home... glider dome in sight ..just sprint - 1st enclosure awaits .shake the cylinder just might have some juice left ..

SUBIR said...

So near. I guess this offsets the gas running out. Cold food can taste good when U know that it is only for a few days!
Met Ratnakar a few days back in a meeting. He sure looked happy with the acheivements of a boat built by him.
Take Care,

Anonymous said...

Hi Dilip,

How about trying to make a Good Ol' Solar Cooker on board - mirror medium size and a small boxzis all you need .... should be an interesting project ....

bye and all the best

ulhas kirpekar (F/75)

Anonymous said...

And for all those planning their life around the 15th of May:
Program Guide for the Australian HD Channel 012 ONE Digital
11:00 - 13:00* LIVE: Jessica Watson: The Homecoming
Experience a moment in history with Exclusive Access to Jessica Watson's Homecoming. With cameras scattered around Sydney Harbour,Bill Woods and Sandra Sully bring you Jessica's first interview.[Program info Ten]
*11.00AM - 01.00PM AEST = +10h UTC -->01.00AM - 03.00AM UTC
Victor C.Pankouken

kina said...

Hello Dilip,

sorry to hear about the gas cylinder episode. Cold foods on the menu from here-in makes for some very interesting dishes I would imagine. Deck scrubbin for the rest of the journey for the chef methinks.

How far you have come and how close you are to home now. It doesn't seem that long ago Jesse indicated to us your location heading towards Cape Horn and it was a race to see who would get there first. Now you're on the home stretch.

Jesse has about a week of sailing to go now and I dare say you won't be that far behind her. Hope those shifting winds favour you as you battle the doldrums.

How frustrating the heat must be. 32°c inside tha cabin would not be helping the cause at all. With the wind and rain at night I guess it depends on what extreme you'd rather have as you get into the doldrums.

Keep the spirits up Dilip and drive home safely.

Ben (Qld)

Lalit Attri said...

Hi Cdr Donde

Huge congrats on entering northern hemisphere again. The risk of falling upside down being over now ;-) Compared to distance put behind, 1200 NM must seem like a pinch.

What a sour thing to run out of gas when you are getting close to home and would feel like celeberating with good food as you keep on getting closer and closer. It would be lovely to hear about the chef's experiments.
The maginifying glass from Nav kit could surely bring some warmth to coffee and help heat up a teeny weeny meal.

Look fwd to hearing about chefs ingenuity.

Fair weather and Godspeed.

Lalit Attri fm Chandigarh

Toni McLean said...

Oh Dilip,
No gas ... that's not very comforting. We have a saying in Australia "Now you're cooking with gas", which means "Now you're going well", or "Now you're doing it right". It seems so apt in this case - no gas ... not going well!!!

Small consolation that the weather is hot, but unless you have a lot of canned baked beans and fruit to get through, it may be very unappetising indeed. I hope you are met at the dock with lots of hot tasty food when you arrive back in India.

It's great progress you're making anyway, and the end of your journey pretty much in sight, as it is for Jessica. A race to the finish line for you both.

Stay safe and dry.


RainCityBob said...

Hello Skipper,

I certainly enjoy your updates, and your photographs. I know I'll miss your blog, once you're home. But, there is still ocean ahead, so please don't let your followers' enthusiasm sway you from taking care of business. This has been an exciting trip for us to date, but as a former US Naval Aviator, I know that the final mile of a trip can often be the most exciting, and the most dangerous.

Stay smart, stay strong, and you will be home soon.

SavPune said...

Hi Dilip and Mahdei,

You are featured in today's Times of India. Good to know that you are safe though out of hot food. Try good ol' solar power if possible!

Anonymous said...

great going dilip.
its the proverbial tail which is remaining. the elephantine part is over. but like they say in cricket, the tail can sometimes wag vigorously.
the media has already announced your date of arrival at mumbai as 22nd. The hitvada - nagpur , 10/05/10
god speed.
jitendra hazarey

koda sri vatsa said...

dear skipper, greetings from T66, good to hear that you'r back in familiar waters.... and familiar hot waters ;-)
pity the gas ran out..... but for a guy whose been round the world, i'm sure you'll find a way to survive, THIS TOO SHALL PASS!
Looking forward to meeting you ashore. take care!
@ratnakar.... you must be proud man now!

Prabir said...

Those markers look good to me and you would be much closer home now. Estimate of DLTGH or R (reach) instead of G? You are a great tough guy and I congratulate you. All the best

Trudy said...

Hello Commander Donde,

congratulations on crossing the equator!

I wish for you, that the doldrums stay in a confused state!
Pity, there is no more Butane gas for cooking, but maybe in this heat, it is not so bad to have to eat cold food!

Continued safe journey,
Trudy, Austria/Australia

Surabhi Raje said...

Hey congrats on crossing the equator...again!!
Hope u hav got some amazing sunrise n sunset pics this time must b absolutely beautiful like d last time....if possible plz post dem on ur next blog...
hoping to see dem...
N hope u find some way out of d cooking gas prob what u do too..
Take care..

Anonymous said...

Haven't you figured out yet that these "people" don't care about Abby's safety? Her father is using her, and has been since before he even sent Zac off to sea! He will do everything in his power to set Abby off to sea again after the repairs are made even if she doesn't want to go. Don't forget there's a production company involved in this, and they're calling the shots! Who do you think is paying for Laurence to go to Cape Town? And if for some reason Abby refuses to continue on, the old man still has five other young kids to prep to be the youngest. Would he try to send one off at 15? You betcha!

Anonymous said...

he has now 1000 NMs to go
under the watchful eye of the Indian Navy

pracs said...

hey buddy,

i can understand how hot it must be out there, i am happy to know that you are nearing soon....

your life seems to be more challenging and circumstantially dramatic thaN that's of Tom hanks in "CAST AWAY"

YOU ARE REALLY A TOUGH GUY, HATS OFF to YOU, NOW I REALLY UNDERSTAND THE MEANING BEHIND THE WORDS OF AWATI SIR, " for project sagar parikrama we wanted a tough guy and we got one in Dilip Donde"

when i miss you i watch our film "sagar parikrama", it also refreshes me to work back whenever i am tired.....

thanks for being such a wonderful human being, i am so happy to know you
i have read that Mr Amitabh Bacchan and Sachin Tendulkar are great human beings, but i have witnessed one simple yet outstanding down to earth human in Dilip Donde.

many congratulations to Ratnakar too, great work mr boat builder....

DS Pathania said...

As u finish u r historic voyage it is indeed such a great feeling to know that u have done us so proud. As far as gas is concerned try hooking in some fish and have it raw (just for adventure sake; although for last 8 months u had great deal of it). there is grand reception planned for u 'Mumbaikars' can witness your home coming on 22 from 'Gateway of India' and shout u r "Teen Jai's".Good Luck following u on this blog will be missed by many.

SATISH said...

Hi! Sir

Great!! Last josh. You'r heading for the hero's welcome.



Anonymous said...

Hi Dilip, a beautiful posting! Please be kind to the chef and do your best to evade the doldrums.

Hope you have fair winds all the way back to India.

Chloe, Tasmania