At Sea

The Lumpy Indian

Almost one and a half thousand miles sailed. Two and a half thousand left. The moon has gone from a Cheshire Cat smile to a large white blob, with either a man or a rabbit in it depending on which cultural legend one follows.

The Indian Ocean is living up to it’s reputation. Three separate sets of swells are converging and making things very lumpy. Bob lurches and rolls like a drunken man in unpredictable ways, knocking the wind from the sails and re-filling them with a bang on a regular basis. It is easy to understand why sailors are traditionally superstitious; it seems like all is calm and well until one of us dares to mention that perhaps the sea state is improving. Then, we immediately get picked up and tossed somewhere, and the sounds from the deck of banging sails and lines and the shaking of the rigging reproach our sentiments smartly. I have substituted 1/2” nylon in place of all of the sheets and preventer lines. The stretchiness of the nylon reduces the shock loading considerably and makes a big difference to our sanity if nothing else. We just have to watch out for chafe even more than usual, since a moving, bowstring-tight piece of nylon will cut itself through in a matter of minutes if given anything to rub against. We need it to last at least three more weeks, and hopefully longer.

Despite our occasional discomfort we continue to make good time, with daily runs around the 140-mile mark. In the early hours of yesterday morning we passed the remote Cocos (Keeling) Islands some twenty five miles to our South, and there is now no more land on our route until the Agalega Islands over 2,000 miles away.


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