Monday, February 23, 2009

Motoring in a flat sea

With brief lookout snapshots of the lights of the other boats between bouts of sleep it took some time on each lookout to work out my relative position to the other boats; was I gaining, heading too far south etc? Even motoring our progress was slow as we were caught in a 1-2 knot adverse current.

Happily in the morning we were all still with sight of each other and over the next hour moved together. The wind had been non-existent through the night, but a gentle breeze picked up first thing in the morning. Antares led the way when they hoisted their spinnaker, so not wanting to be left out, I struggled with lines and the pole and eventually managed to launch the cruising chute as a spinnaker.

Unfortunately the wind started to die around noon and much talk over the VHF ensued about whether to motor or continue sailing. The collective decision was made more complex as the weather forecast showed little wind over the next four days and three of us doubt we've enough diesel to motor all the way. We opted to motor and hope for more wind later. As we motored we entered a area of brown water, I tried to convince myself it had a red tinge and perhaps this is what gave the Red Sea its name. The other weren't convinced, but denied pumping out their holding tanks. After an hour we escaped the brown water and adverse current - all very strange.

It's a shame that worries about diesel mar what looks to be a calm few days as we enter the Gulf of Aden. I finished the day catching a small mahi-mahi - I was starting to think I'd lost the knack.

Position @ 12:00 (GMT+5), 23/02/2009: N14deg 16' E055deg48'
Distance to new security corridor: 89
Engine Hours: 16
Daily run: 75

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