The bumpy close-hauled sailing of the last few days has been worth it. Just after 2pm today I crossed the projected track of the other boats, 30 miles ahead of them and hove-to to await their arrival. It's been a wet trip to make the northing, but has its compensations; a couple of times last night the breaking waves brought some luminous drops with them, the phosphorescent blue splodges standing-out brightly in the dark star-lit only night - stunning.
The alarm on the radar worked fantastically well last night, alerting me to ships I could barely make out through the spray. Perhaps I should have opened the instruction book earlier; who said real sailors don't need instructions? I think I've made it to the north side of the shipping lane - there's definitely less shipping, though the radar is still checking for ships every 5 minutes. I'm hoping for a quiet night tonight.
We've changed waypoint - just as the previous one was in reach. The new waypoint is more down-wind, resulting in more relaxing sailing, so the change of course was agreed unanimously by the convoy committee.
I've finished off the last of the tuna with a large dish of cheviche. Tomorrow the line is out again with a new yellow/white/pink squid allegedly enticing to mahi-mahi, we'll see.
I'm experimenting with connection to different stations for sending and receiving emails. Today I received an email via the station in Belgium. This transmitter was the first station we used when we set-off, so it really feels like I'm closing in on Europe again.
The closest boat was 15 miles from my position at 18:00, I decided to sail through the night then meet-up with the others tomorrow, rather than risk missing or hitting the convoy in the night! It'll be great to be sailing in company - just hope their wind-vanes, hold a similarly "straight" course to mine. Time will tell...
Position @ 12:00 (GMT+5), 20/02/2009: N12deg 50' E060deg19'
Distance to Gulf of Aden (previous waypoint): 176
Distance to Gulf of Aden (new waypoint): 301
Engine Hours: 0
Daily run: 113