Day 137, Year 5: Passage to Maldives, Day Two
Date: Friday, March 12, 2010
Weather: Overcast; Variable Winds Clocking NW to E
Latitude: 08 degrees 40.440 N
Longitude: 074 degrees 48.078 minutes E
Miles Traveled to Date: 131.75

A-salam alekum. This is ‘hello’ in the Divehi (Dhivehi) language of the Maldives. When we reach Uligan on Sunday (that is the hope at this point) we will kani (eat), nidani (sleep), hingani (walk), and fatani (swim). Until we get there, however, we would like to duvani (sail). But we have lost our wind and are now slowly motoring to the SW.

Today has been a mixed bag. The good thing was that we did get to sail through the night and into the morning, but then the winds started clocking going from N to NE to E with a little SW during a mid-day squall that produced mostly thunder, a dibble-dop of rain, and three ugly water spouts. It was time for my late morning off-watch nap when the squall came through and I slept through the whole thing. Mark had to come below to close the hatches and he reefed the main and rolled up the headsail, but I heard nothing. The winds did not get above 18 knots as the storm passed, so he really wouldn’t have had to reef, but better safe than sorry. The scary thing was the water spouts, but they dissipated before they got close. So all was well. It is evening now and the sun is going down in a still totally overcast sky. We had to start motoring just after the mid-day storm passed as the winds have been very light since then. And what little wind there is comes from behind us. This means rock ‘n roll, and the seas keep building so that we are getting even more rock ‘n roll. Nothing dangerous, just not as comfortable as it could be. But you get what you get and adapt.

Even though we had no sun today, we decided to slice some tomatoes and try drying them. Another boat in the Bolgatty anchorage, Koukouri, with Claude and Carmen aboard were drying tomatoes on a board in their cockpit, so we decided to try it. You evidently just thinly slice the tomatoes. Put them in the sun for three days, bringing them in at night, and then bag them. You could also put them in olive oil, but Claude just bags them and then reconstitutes them in water when he wants to use them in cooking. Claude has been doing this for years and says it works perfectly, so we are giving it a try. I bought about nine kilos of tomatoes before leaving India. I bought the least ripe that I could find and wrapped them individually in newspaper. But at some point they will all start to ripen at once and I’ll just sun dry them if we find this process works for us. And now I have two pots of sweet basil growing and a pot of Thai basil and arugula. These ingredients should make great pizza while we are in Chagos.