Arabian Sea Day 6- Tuesday 25 February

During the night the wind died to a whisper. Temptress has been under engine since midnight UTC (the 04:00 watch change, ships time). The watermaker also went on and by breakfast time batteries and water tanks were full.

Skipper went to make breakfast and found the galley floor damp. I had seen the same yesterday evening too but mopped it up assuming I’d dropped water whilst prepping veg. Following the trail, the next thing up is the galley drawers, removing the lowest one revealed a slight dampness in the corner at the front close to the stove, it’s salty. The adjacent under sink locker is examined, the sink seacock is dry, phew! Breakfast first.

Higher up, through both spaces runs a stringer (a glassed in hull strengthening that runs fore aft), my brain was quicker than skipper’s who’d been on the dawn watch, the water was running along this. The galley saltwater spigot sits above it. This useful, foot pumped seawater source is located at the back of the left hand galley sink; was that leaking? The first object, a bag of metal polishing clothes, passed out of the under sink locker was slightly damp.

The pump is used for rinsing dishes prior to freshwater washing up and only in clean seas. The pipework has not been touched in our twenty year ownership except for a modification at the inlet seacock to remove the three way valve that originally permitted it to also be used with freshwater. We separated the outlets into two after one cup of tea too many innocently made with seawater.

Cleaning stuff, polishes and insecticides were dumped into a shopping bag –
how come there are so many? The skipper stuck his head in with a head torch. The plywood underside of the worktop was sodden but not round the saltwater pipe. Kevin pulled out the square foot of headlining above the crockery cupboard. A torch quickly revealed dripping seawater. On deck the culprit proved to be another bolt fixing the toe rail at a point in the scuppers where seawater over the bow gathers when the boat is flat. A proper repair needs everything dried out in harbour. For now a quick dry with kitchen paper and a dollop of sealant had to suffice. An hour after the hunt began, cupboard and contents were clean and dry, everything stowed neatly again.

After showers we finally got round to a task that should have been done before we departed Cochin; the packing of our lives in the waterproof rucksack. Passports, wallets, foreign currency, banking devices and other valuables, ships papers, a teeny medicine kit, spare spectacles, backup hard disk, phones, a power pack, gps, handheld VHF and all the related charging cables. In an emergency we can grab this along with our survival grab box as we abandon ship.

The other excitement of the morning was the sighting of a ship, the first for a few days. The Maersk Edmonton steaming from Salalah, Oman to Shanghai. At 330m long the container ship was a beast even viewed from 1.25nm, the closest we came. We saw a second smaller tanker later heading to a port above Mumbai.

Squid are messy things, leaving a trail of black ink, far out of proportion to their tiny size across the deck before expiring in hidden places like under the handrail. Yuk, discovered when preparing to sail again. Finally late morning the wind got with the forecast – a F3 from the NE. The reef was shaken out and all the gennie unfurled. Now peacefully sailing on a beam reach at 6 or 7 knots. 700 nm or four to five days sailing to the eastern end of the Transit Corridor. It lasted through the afternoon during which we read, knitted and reviewed the information we have on Djibouti – dusty but friendly I think sums it up. It’s 1200nm away still.

As the sun began to go down the wind died again so we furled the genoa and motored for a few hours. At the first watch change at 22:00 we again reverted to sailing. With two thirds of the gennie and a full main Temptress pottered on through the night at six knots. So far since the oil change in Cochin we have motored 46 hours, fuel for another 200 odd remains.

Noonday Run: 150nm
Noon Distance to Suez: 2630nm approx


  1. great to hear from you both, love reading these blogs. Never a dull moment on ToD. Off to KL for a conference, handwashing like crazy, otherwise all fairly normal here.

    Stay safe, miss you both, xx


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