Day 227, Year 5 Passage to Madagascar, Day 8
Date: Thursday, June 10, 2010
Weather: Repeat–Squally Night; Sunny Day, Winds ESE to SE 28-32
Latitude: 11 degrees 27.099 minutes S
Longitude: 054 degrees 14.055 minutes E
Miles to Go: 320

Another day, another 160+ miles, and all is well aboard Windbird. We didn’t realize we were going to be flying to Madagascar, but that’s how it feels out here. When we talk to Ed and Lynne of Constance on the radio Lynne says she misses looking out and seeing the “birds”—that’s us. But the “birds” flew away and can’t stop. The wind has not let up, and in fact, today it was even stronger, staying around 30 knots, sometimes gusting to 40. For most of the day we had the little triangle of headsail that we are flying poled out to port and we were sailing wing and wing. But the winds got even stronger late this afternoon and turned from ESE to SE, so now we have the headsail back out to starboard. Our speed over ground is over 7 knots due to a positive current of 1 to1.5 knots and if things continue as they have today, by this time tomorrow (Friday) afternoon we will have about 115 miles left to go to reach the east coast of Madagascar. That means we could reach the coast sometime Saturday morning. If that happens, then we can round the top and be at anchor late Saturday afternoon. I think both of us are looking forward to that. This passage has been fast, and it hasn’t been relaxing. We always have to be on alert for the next squall or a shift in the winds. With strong winds like we have been having, there is very little room for error, so once again being at anchor will be a great relief.

We have heard from a number of our sailing friends in response to our June letter to family and friends. It was so good to hear from friends that we crossed the Pacific with in 2006. Randy and Sheri of Procyon are back in California, Tom and Bette Lee of Quantum Leap are in passage to Fiji for one more season in the South Pacific, and Idunn and Rune of Blue Marlin are now living in South Korea where Rune is working as a subsea engineer on an oil rig being built. The twins, Hedda and Marita, are in the International School and all will be heading back to Norway for a summer holiday. Rune will join the rig in Singapore and sail with it to the Seychelles before he joins the rig
again in Tanzania. We will be in Madagascar at that time and he will try to connect with us via radio. Dave and Patti of This Way Up, friends from Australia that we met in the Sail Indonesia Rally are now traveling to the eastern part of Indonesia with another rally. Friends that we met in Chagos on the boat Nepenthe have made it safely to Dar es Salam in Tanzania and Far Niente has made it to Nosy Be in Madagascar. We’ll be catching up with them soon. Neil and Ley of Crystal Blues, friends we met at the Boat Lagoon while our boats were being painted are currently anchored on the north coast of Borneo. At least Ley is there in the boat waiting for Neil to return from a week’s work in India. Soon they’ll be heading back to Singapore. Friends from the Boston area, Susie Klein and Jim Hammitt are headed up the East Coast of the US in their boat Reveille. They sailed Reveille to the Med a few years ago and had it shipped back to Florida last season. So this trip will return Reveille to her home in Padanarum in Rhode Island. And our friends Larry and Angela Beavers in Fall River, Rhode Island, are launching their 24 foot C & C named Isabel this weekend. So our sailing friends are spread far and wide all over the globe and it is great to keep in touch with them.

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Day 228, Year 5 Passage to Madagascar, Day 9
Day 226, Year 5 Passage to Madagascar, Day 7