We’ve arrived in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka
Posted by yachtcamomile
Our position on Wednesday 3rd February is
I spent our last day at sea nervously watching the twizzle rig and every squeak and knock made me jump but all was well. We discovered what had broken it’s fall when it came down. If you look at the wooden slat holding the diesel cans in place it’s been pushed right down. That was much higher so the ends of the poles must have hit it first forcing it down to the deck before they too clattered onto the deck, lucky it didn’t puncture the fuel can.
Bill ran the mobile generator for most of the day to charge the batteries while we had the watermaker on (not sure if we’ll be able to make water in the anchorage). It saves having to put the engine on and preserves the batteries. We also gave Hans a rest and had Luke, our other autopilot, running all day. (Why Luke? – think starwars!)
A big container ship passed us in the afternoon. We hadn’t seen a ship for days and suddenly there was one coming straight for us. With the twizzle rig flying and the main held down with a preventer to stop it jibbing we are ‘restricted in our ability to manoeuvre’ an acknowledged nautical term and one Bill used on the vhf radio when speaking to their bridge. Something we rarely do but he was heading towards us. Happily he obliged by changing his course and going behind us. There were also quite a lot of small fishing boats out there as we got closer to land, some wanting to sell us fish, not little fish, huge great big ones! We laughed and waved and said no thank you.
Our last day at sea was spent on whale watch. There are supposed be Blue whales in the waters around Sri Lanka all year round but we didn’t see any – lots of flying fish but no whales. At 11.00 I spotted land on the horizon, always a wonderful sight. By midday we were motoring into the outer entrance of the harbour. We called Port control on vhf 16 and asked for clearance to go to the town jetty which they happily gave. They sent a couple of young naval cadets in a small launch to escort us to the town jetty although for those following on we didn’t require or request a pilot. If you are offered one just say no thank you or you will be charged for it.
We dropped anchor at 13.00 just in front of Tintin who had arrived first thing in the morning. We unwrapped the dinghy and went ashore to the town jetty to meet Ravi our agent who helped us check in with first immigration then customs. All very quick and painless. The customs and immigration are based either side of the town jetty which is also a very safe place to leave your dinghy because the guards walk around with guns so I don’t think anyone would dare take it. Inspiration Lady arrived safely the next day. We have a visa for 30 days and will be based here during that time. Trincomalee is a bit off the beaten tourist track because it’s in the heart of Tamil Tiger land and the war only finished in 2009 but the people are very friendly here. We plan to spend some of our time on some land travel. So watch this space.
I’ve updated the blogs I wrote on the journey with the photos I took so feel free to have a browse of the website.
Our passage of 1039 miles took us 7 days and 6 hours which is an average of just under 6kts an hour; good for Camomile.