What a difference a day makes. The sea has calmed down, the wind has eased and for the first time in nearly a week, we've shaken out the reefs and are sailing along under full main and full genoa. It seems we've found the conditions mentioned in the pilot guide: "the NE monsoon blows at Force 4-5 (10-20kt) over most of the northern Indian Ocean making for very pleasant passage making.".
Now the ride less resembles a roller-coaster, we're able to contemplate activities other than mere survival. We spent the morning on repairs. David fixed the cockpit light and stern locker gutter, while I attempted to fix the log (speedometer) with some intricate solder work. All fixed, so now we can tell how much credit the ocean current can take for our record breaking progress. Answer: it's added between 1-2 knots to our speed.
With the easier conditions David disappeared in the galley for over an hour, emerging just before sunset with two pizzas - "meat feast" and "seafood extravaganza". They looked great and tasted even better. Then to finish a great day, the fishing line raced out, just as we were finishing our last mouthful of pizza. Finally our first catch of the trip - a small tuna. Fresh fish tomorrow...
The moon is rising later and later leaving the majority of the night to the stars, which are incredible. Surprisingly even though we're 5 degrees north of the equator the southern cross is still clearly visible. When the moon eventually appears it's a perfect half moon, aligned with the horizon.
Position @ 23:00 (GMT +7) 18/1/2008: N5deg 15.9' E81deg 50.2
Distance to Sri Lanka: 76
Daily run: 145