Day 90, Year 5: Passage to Cochin, Day Nine
Date: Sunday, January 24, 2010
Weather: Hazy Horizon; Winds SW 7-10 (daytime land breeze)
Latitude: 05 degrees 56.070 minutes N
Longitude: 080 degrees 02.550 minutes E
Miles Traveled to Date: 1,111

Here’s a quick summary of the past glorious twenty-four hours:
–Motor sailing through the evening to reach our first waypoint off Sri Lanka by midnight.
–Strong winds pushing us in just the right direction by 11 pm, so off with the engine..
–Overnight broad reach sail in 18-20 knot winds with two knots of positive current in fairly calm seas-Windbird was flying!
–Best ever 24 hours from 5 am yesterday to 5 am this morning-161 miles.
–Spotted only a few ships and a few fishing boats all night. Whew!
–Passed under Sri Lanka during the day, only eight miles offshore, with no indication that land exists there. We did see two light houses, but nothing else, not even a bird. Oh, Mark did see a whale that put on a little show for him. Unfortunately, I was napping.
–Continued great sailing until we entered the Gulf of Mannar which separates Sri Lanka from India.
–Lost our wind before noon and motored until 4 pm in calm seas.
–Currently sailing again with what we assume are temporary SW winds. We are on a beam reach but the winds are only 7-10 knots.

We’ll be spending tonight, tomorrow, and most of the next night crossing the Gulf of Mannar before we reach the southern tip of India. Depending on the wind, we should reach Cochin by Thursday. Right now we seem to be in the path of ships leaving Galle, Sri Lanka headed west, so we will have to keep a sharp lookout tonight. But all is well.

Now for the salt story. There is a book named Salt that outlines the role salt had to play in the development of the civilized world. Well, you can now add our discovery of salt to that outline. This morning I fixed French toast and needed to get the maple syrup out of the cabinet over our starboard settee. Right now that starboard settee is our sea berth and the back cushions are snapped up to the ceiling covering the cabinet doors. I unsnapped the far right cushion and let it fall, along with a cascade of salt pouring out of the louvered cabinet doors. It’s amazing how much salt is in one little 500 gram container. This one was on the top of boxes on the top shelf and the foolproof lid had come off draining salt down on top of everything. And of course, when I took the cushion down, the salt then spilled on to our sheets on the sea berth. So we had a whole morning of clean-up. How I miss my shop vac. With a vacuum the job could have been done quickly, but without, it took almost two hours.

We heard Robert of Shirena and Fatty of Wild Card on the net this morning. They have left Uligan in the Maldives and are headed to Oman. We wish them both a safe passage to Salalah. That is where they will regroup before heading into the Gulf of Aden.

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Day 91, Year 5: Passage to Cochin, Day Ten
Day 89, Year 5: Passage to Cochin, Day Eight