Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Andaman roller coaster

David's gentle introduction is over, the wind has found us and we're speeding along on a dead run. The Andaman sea is full of surprises. One moment we're rolling along on regular ocean swells, the next we're being violently thrown around in a heavily confused sea - as though there's suddenly a large current opposing the trade wind. After 10 minutes or so, we sail out the other end with a well defined transition back to gentle ocean swells. There's nothing on the chart to indicate these abrupt areas of overfalls, it's all very mysterious. I'm afraid first thing this morning, it was a little too much for David, who had a second taste of his breakfast. Although to compensate he spotted a turtle while leaning over the rail.

Eventually I found an entry in the pilot guide which shed some light on this unusual phenomenon: "In the Andaman Sea there will often be upwelling currents producing a strange choppy sea in defined areas" - so now we know!

I'm sure the suddenly confused seas aren't helping, but it seems to be taking longer than usual to adjust to the rhythm of being at sea again.

The wind has been varying in strength; at times we're surfing down waves making fantastic progress, the next the sails are flogging as there's insufficient wind to keep them filled in the swell.

After an appropriate mourning period, pink squid has been replaced by tiger squid. It's early days, but already our new lure is showing promise with a single bite today. Once we finish of the remains of today's spag-bol, we'll be expecting tiger to deliver some fresh protein.

Position @ 23:00 (GMT +5) 13/1/2008: N6deg 51.6' E95deg 41.6'
Distance to southern Nicobar islands: 111
Daily run: 134

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