Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dolphins in the sunset

The moon isn't making much of an effort to raise itself during the night, making for very dark nights and stunning phosphorescent trails. I know I've mentioned phosphorescence once or twice before, but last-night was one of the most spectacular shows I've seen. Sometimes the boat seemed to cause a large "blob" of luminous organism to glow, leaving bright circles, a metre across, swirling in our wake. A recovered trailing rope was transformed into a magical glowing tube - definitely worth braving the pirates for.

The brisk wind overnight moderated to a gentle breeze this morning, requiring vigilance to keep the sails full and boat moving more or less in the intended direction. For the first time in many days, I was able to leave the hatches open and air the sheets and pillows.

The full rendezvous with the other boats hasn't happened yet - I'm ahead of them by about 20 miles - but it's the first time we've been able to talk over the VHF radio ad-hoc, rather than the HF radio (SSB) at the set times for the net.

I spotted Risho Maru, one of the members of the convey, just after midday. They've been slowly catching up all day and not that I'm competitive, but I've been busy tweaking the sails all afternoon to try to avoid being overtaken. Finally at 7.30 they caught-up and overtook. Great to see another boat briefly, and I'm looking forward to the full rendezvous in a couple of days.Just before sunset, I spied some dolphins jumping in the distance. It was the acrobatic troupe again performing cartwheels, back flips, high jumps and belly flops, though this time it seems they were doing it for their own amusement, not appreciative sailors - I was too far away to count. Perhaps they were having a practice session and they'll give the full performance off the bow tomorrow.
Position @ 12:00 (GMT+5), 21/02/2009: N13deg 30' E058deg36'
Distance to Gulf of Aden: 194
Engine Hours: 0
Daily run: 107

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