Phuket to Sri Lanka day 3
Posted by yachtcamomile
Position at 10.00 Saturday 30th January
24 hour run from 10.00 29th to 10.00 30th 144 miles
617 miles to go
Who asked for more wind? It certainly wasn’t me!
We continued to sail gently and slowly through the Sombrero channel yesterday in between the Nicobar islands, the squalls have cleared for now. Once through the islands we changed course for Trincomalee harbour, Sri Lanka. The GPS read 725 miles to the next waypoint. Grooooan, deep joy.
We were doing a good speed because there was a strong current pushing us along the channel but once through our speed dropped again because the islands were taking our wind. The engine went back on for an hour at 16.30 to get us clear of the islands. The day continued as we gradually got back into the routine of passage making. I ran my usual net, I do love to chatter to people. Nicone are a little bit behind us now, not sure how that happened, I must have taken a wrong reading yesterday. Tintin are about 50 miles north of us on almost on the same longitude and have also passed through the Nicobars today. Inspiration Lady are about 130 miles behind us still motor sailing as they didn’t get the nice sail at the beginning to give them the ‘push’ we had. Rise and Shine also checked in and will be leaving Phuket tomorrow.
Bill had a shock in the dark last night, a flying fish flew through the opening in the cockpit cover and landed on his foot shedding it’s scales everywhere, poor thing. It made him jump out of his skin, which I found very amusing. I handed him a plate and he lifted it up and threw it back in the sea then had to get in the shower and wash the smelly scales off his feet.
After Bill had gone to bed I noticed we had more wind. Without the moon (which doesn’t come out until about 11pm at the moment)it’s difficult to see any thing so I put the radar back on. To my horror there was a huge squall rapidly approaching us and the wind was building fast. I got Bill back out of bed because we had full sails up but it was too late to reef down as the wind got stronger. I watched the wind increase to 18 then 20 then 28kts with a full main and both the gennys flying this wasn’t good. Bill changed course to run with it as we started getting lashed with rain. The waves were surging and pushing us along at 7.5 to 8kts; too fast for Camomile. Bill managed to winch the gennys in but there wasn’t anything we could do with the main. Fortunately after about half an hour it started to subside and we gradually came back on course and then the rain stopped and the wind dropped again, phew. Once the moon came out it was possible to see the dark clouds but fortunately they stayed away from us.
I came back on watch at 4.00 Bill had the boat sailing along nicely with the gennies still reefed in. During the night the north east monsoon had started to blow and we were getting a steady 15kts of wind on the starboard beam, where it should be, but we still had a full main up. By 7.00 when Bill got up the wind had increased to 18kts and a full main was too much for the Hydrovane to trim. Camomile is easy to reef with her single line reefing (in the right conditions) and within 15 minutes we had 2 reefs in the main with both the gennies flying on the port side. As we came back on course Camomile picked up her skirts and flew, she loves it, so does Bill; I’m not so sure.
We are so out of practise, we haven’t sailed like this since 2013 across the Gulf of Carpentaria in Australia and this is supposed to be the easy passage of the Indian ocean. Bill says I’m fussing 18 to 20kts on the beam is a lovely sail. As I write this I have to keep clinging to the chart table because we are also getting bounced around by the waves hitting our starboard beam. Every 20th one or so is bigger than the rest so all the hatches are now closed to prevent any water getting in. We’ll pass the half way point this evening. All is well on board.