Sailing around the World ( presently sailing across the Indian Ocean,)

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Thu 7 Oct 2010 07:35
WEDNESDAY  6th  OCTOBER  2010      ( Day 10 at Sea )
One of the interesting things about this trip is the amount of Islands in the Southern hemisphere,
The western part of the Pacific has literally thousands of Islands, from Japan across to Hawii and back down to NZ,
Some sailors spend half of their lives just sailing this area alone..  Definatly a sailors paradise,
and simularily the Indian Ocean is dotted with Islands, not to mind the Indonisian collection, the Philipenes, Sumatra, Borneo, Timor,
The Maldives, Solomon Isl's, Christmas Island, Seyshelles, Mauritius, Reunion Island, Madagascar, and hundreds more,
Its a part of the world we in Ireland know very little about, especially the sailing oppertunities. most places that we have heard about
and have visited turned out to be beautifull surprises. but moreoften than not , we went to places we never even heard of !
Meanwhile, back to reality on board " A Lady" as we scoot along with the " Bag of fear " flying, Wonderfull, we thought, a good starrey
night, a nice breeze, what more could we ask for !   Ohhhhhh, But, cripes BUT, that bloody BUT, well but decided to give us something to
think about and wrapped the spinniker around the forestay, good and proper at that.............
This was about 02.00hrs, so Neil and Skipper went forward and examined the mess.   Oh No, could we loose our spare spinniker here !
We scratched our heads, we scratched our bums, we scratched for straws, we could not pull it down as it was wrapped around the furled up headsail
on the forestay.  ahhh, maybe thats the answer, lets try unfurling the headsail............. a real long shot, but, BUT,    and it blooming well worked,
45 minutes later , we were back in buisness, the " Bag of fear " dragging us along nicely again.   Phew ! that was a close call.
But , BUT  , but , an hour later, Terry called Skipper, A big trawler on our Stb bow. all lit up like a city, We still had the spinniker flying
but, we could not make out what direction he was travelling, we could see from his lights that he was trawling,
We lit up " A Lady " like a city as well , so they would see us also, Skipper tried calling them without success on the VHF.
Terry was very worried , fearing the trawler would not see our spreader lights and all our other lights, he lit his cigarette
lighter and held it up high in the sky, waving it around like a flame thrower,,,    gas. ,
Our biggest fear was they would have miles of nets out behind and we could get hung up in them,
When we were less than 400m away from them and could see that they were trawling towards us, so their nets would not become an issue.
Manovering " A Lady " with the spinniker flying is limited to about 25 degrees max, and as it is a genniker, we cannot gybe.
or not without taking the sail down.  So this rather akward situation resolved itself, we think that the trawler altered course to avoid us ,
 once they saw " Terry's " cigarette lighter waving around in the distance.
We still had an adverse current of about 1 knot,  which really slows down our SOG. and this lasted about 24 hours, and then we had the
benifit of a 1,5 knot current again.
We also learnt that " Arianne" wrapped their spinniker around their forestay, and "Tzigeny" dropped theirs over the side and the sheets got snagged
around their propellor, so John had to go and dive down and cut them free.  Never a dull moment.
09.00hrs,  Radio call :-   we recieved all the positions of the fleet, and we are still holding our own, taking a few miles ( 30 on average ) out of
all the other boats day by day.
Distance to Destination,........................................... 609 miles,  ( We covered 186 miles in thew last 24 hours, even with an adverse current )
Weather,..................................................................V Good, clear blue skies, blue seas, flat seas, and a lovely 20 knot breeze.
PIRATES :-    We just recieved across the radio from " Drammer " who got it from the Nav 6 ( which we have on board ) that a fishing trawler
located about 600 miles NW of us and with 20+ fishermen on board has benn kidnapped by Pirates,  now in this Ocean, 600 miles is close.
It seems now that these Pirates have big mother ships with many big fast ribs on board for doing their buisness,  new tricks every day.
10.30hrs  A large tanker  passed going SW towards the Cape of Good Hope. Skipper went to the scratcher for a nap , as he had been up most of the night and was ready to collapse.
13.00hrs   We had a great 22  /  24 know breeze from the SSW , which allowed us to nibble our way north back towards the rum line.
An interesting thing, even though our E120 and tha RL80 at the nav ststion are interlinked to the GPS, they show us in two seperate locations, about 15 miles apart.   This happens if we set our way points on the RL80 only, If we set our way points on the E120, then we are the same positions
both up above and down below at the nav. desk.
18.00hrs.  Distance to Destination.................................534 miles ( we covered 190 miles in the 24 hrs since 18 .00hrs last night )
We got a long email from Rally control, advising the fleet of  what we can do in Mauritius and their programme,
I will say it again, they are great ,  Paul and Susanne are are like part of the family at this stage.
and have been a great asset to everyone on this trip.
Dinner, Aileen did a minced beef curry and rice, we were sooooo hungry that we would have eaten it through a rusty barbed wire fence.
this was followed with Blamange and peach dessert , all with  ( slimming ) cream.
Shortly, the skipper vanished to the bunk, and was not seen again for the night, the crew decided to do the night watches between them.
Its amazing what they will do for salad sanwiches. not to mind having a full dinner.
Thats all for now.  
Signed :-   Stephen Hyde    ( Skipper )