Arabian Sea Day 6- Wednesday 26 February

It’s becoming beautifully chilly, cold even! In the early hours of yesterday I needed a long sleeve shirt on watch, the skipper donned his sailing jacket (over his life jacket) but now a few miles further north we have realised more serious clothing is required. Having spent the last few years living and sailing close to the equator, we habitually wear the same clothing day and night, t-shirts and shorts. Nights at sea when the temperature drops to a pleasant 26 degrees or so are a relief after the heat of the day. Currently at dawn I’m wearing a long sleeved t-shirt, a sleeveless fleece, shorts (because I couldn’t find anything longer on waking for my watch), lifejacket and a thick blanket over my cold bare legs and feet yet I’m still feeling chilled by the breeze that’s working its way into the relative shelter of the cockpit.

Yes I know those of you reading this in Northern Europe will be muttering ‘it’s February stupid, what did you expect?” Except we are sailing in the tropics and heading towards the Red Sea which crosses through one of the hottest, most arid places on the planet, where daytime temperatures in July can reach 50 degrees or more. Even yesterday afternoon, a relatively cloudy cool one, we were dripping with perspiration. Today will be spent hunting out sailing trousers, warm tops and socks for the nights to come. By 7am as the sun peeped over the horizon I’d cast off all the layers and was back to my usual sweaty self.

After breakfast the usual UKMTO and blog emails were despatched. Messages were exchanged via sat phone with Complexity, now some 120nm astern. They spotted the Elon Musk satellites at dusk! Then there was the laundry to do and hung in the cockpit to drip until dry. A few ships within sight today as we converge on the Gulf of Aden.

Pleasant afternoon sailing on a beam reach, initially quite slow but wind increased til making six knots over the ground. Nice flat seas again. Lovely to have a brief phone call from Rhona, Kevin’s Mum too. Tidied up the waypoints and routes in the Axiom which has a convenient folder system so all the Red Sea points filed under Red Sea, most of the rest under Indian Ocean and the reference points like the corners of the Transit Corridor under Reference. Finished the first sleeve of my jumper. Read a bit and not a lot else except we both dug out long trousers for tonight!. Another glorious sunset turning the sky pinks and the sea gold.

Noonday Run: 138nm
Noon Distance to Suez: 2490nm approx