Day 85, Year 5: Passage to Cochin, Day Four
Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Weather: Clear Skies; NE Winds 15-20
Latitude: 07 degrees 24.210 minutes N
Longitude: 092 degrees 00.736 minutes E
Miles to Go: 1,203

A Note About Miles to Go: Miles to Go is not an indication of how many miles we have traveled. If you take yesterday’s Miles to Go and subtract today’s, it looks like we have only traveled 86 miles in the last 24 hours, but that is not so. We had to change waypoints yesterday when we got new information on the best way to approach Sri Lanka and that changed the number of miles we have to travel. So the Miles to Go might change considerably as we put in new waypoints or are pushed too far one way or another because of weather. But as of today, our best estimate on the number of miles we have to travel is 1,203.

The good news for today is that Constance got their auto pilot back up and running before sunset last night. The bad news is that sometime during the night, our freezer started getting warmer and warmer and nothing Mark can do is getting it back to freezing. He seems to be able to maintain it at the temp of the refrigerator, but that is not going to keep the meat frozen for long. If it is not improved by morning, I plan to cook all the chicken and pork and eat as much as we can on passage. I think the vacuum packed ground beef, beef sausages, and bacon will keep in the refrig for quite a while, so the challenge will be finding room. This didn’t come as a surprise as we have been having issues with the freezer over the past month, but we did think we had found the problem. Obviously not. So we are just going to have to become vegetarians once again, with a lot of fish thrown in for good measure.

So far, we are having better sailing winds than the weather reports have indicated, ranging from 10 to 20 knots. Today the winds have been 15-20 all day which is perfect. The wind is generally out of the northeast, sometimes a little more easterly and sometimes a little more northerly, so we do have to change the headsail more than a couple of times a day. Basically the wind is behind us and the mainsail has been vanged out to port since we left Thailand. The headsail goes from being poled out to windward so we are sailing wing and wing, to being out on the same side as the main so we are sailing on a broad reach. Wind speed and slight changes in direction dictate which point of sail we are using. We do reef down the main before sunset and then shake out the reef sometime in the morning. This is a pain, but it is security that we will be safe during the night if squalls come through. It would be great if these conditions continued all the way to India, but that’s probably a little too much to ask for.

We haven’t heard from Robert and Tina of Shirena since they first arrived in the Maldives, but if things are going on schedule, Wild Card should be leaving there for Oman in the next day or so. Sounds like Fatty wants to be first out of the gates. Shirena is hoping to stay a few more days and find a couple of boats to sail with to Salalah. Many boats are on their way, and they should start to trickle in soon. This morning on the IO (Indian Ocean) Net a woman named Lu on Skylax had to take over for the net controller back in Phuket. The boat name sounded familiar, but I couldn’t remember ever seeing it. Then I realized that Skylax is the name of Rod Heikell’s boat and his wife is named Lu. Maybe I’m making connections that are not there, but I think not. Heikell is the author of all those very expensive cruising books for the Mediterranean as well as the Indian Ocean Cruising Guide. I have been reading that and thus the familiarity with the boat name. Interesting company out here.