After a night of mostly motoring rather slower than Temptress usually does, the wind came up at dawn. An hour later Kevin, who was on watch, hauled out the genoa and turned off the iron sail. The first mate slept blissfully through it as well as his earlier removal of an airlock in the shaft seal during which he had opened up the mast support beside where I lay.
Complexity reported they are making 5.5 knots under sail, the gap between us widened through the night so they are no longer even in AIS range. Even with the sails over sheeted, Temptress is making half a knot more in the light north north easterly. The sat phone has been broken out of the bonded storage that had been demanded by Indian Customs and put on charge so we could make our daily position report to UKMTO. Thanks everyone for the messages wishing us well. Hopefully our log from yesterday reached the blog. We even called Complexity so their number is stowed in the phonebook.
During the afternoon Temptress sailed past Kalpeni Island. We didn’t see it as, despite being less than 8.5nm away, it is so low lying that the tallest things are the coconut palms and a lighthouse tower whose elevation is just 43m above sea level. Still no fish for the fridge so it’s sausages for supper. The current is quite strong a knot pushing us north for hours then it switches to push Temptress south.
The wind changed midmorning so a more north easterly direction so we poled out the genoa. Most of the time we are gliding along at four or five knots. Slow but progress in the right direction, life has quickly settled into the at sea routine with the passing of daylight hours makes by glasses of squash and mealtimes. Aside from navigation and sail trim we are occupying ourselves with reading, knitting (the first sleeve of my crazy 3in1 jumper is coming along nicely), snoozing and meal preparation. This afternoon as the wind was light enough for playing cards to stay on the cockpit table, I offered to thrash the skipper at Canasta. Sadly he beat me in a complete whitewash!
Late afternoon the wind slowly swung to almost north, dying away as it did so. We motor sailed for a few hours to charge the batteries, running the watermaker again too. Before supper text messages were exchanged with Complexity who are apparently ten miles behind us. We have seen no one but ourselves all day, no ships nor aeroplanes.
The sun set in a glorious blaze of reds and golds across the horizon ahead, the sea speckled with gold. Time to furl the genoa, the wind has left just the occasional chill gust. The current is pushing us south with a vengeance; Temptress heading is 283 her course over the ground 245, the waypoint just west of the Lakshadweeps bears 270 and is under seventy five miles away. From there we will turn a few degrees more north westerly towards the Gulf of Aden, but that is for tomorrow.
Before midnight the wind returned and Temptress was sailing again, a fetch with the wind west of north. Four knots under sail is better than using the engine. The current still heading us south and taking a knot off the speed through the water. Fifty miles to the waypoint.
Noonday Run: 118nm
Noon Distance to Suez: 3150nm approx