The Indian Ocean: Male to Langkawi:Part 1 17- 24 sept

david and margaret ritchie
Mon 25 Sep 2006 08:56
We left Male in high spirits, and after 6 days and 3 hours reached our half way point, 800 miles due east of the Maldives, and well to the east of Sri Lanka. It has been  a great trip so far with only a slight ocean swell, no rain, blue skies and a southerly wind, allowing us to coast along at 6.5 - 7 knots with ease.The sea life is fantastic, with something popping its head out of the water everytime you look out. Unfortunately, we have been the last resting  place of scores of flying fish, who launch themselves onboard during the night. One even managed to go in the small 6" by 3" hatch in Margaret's cabin. Despite this, I have had no success with fishing but the cook is doing such an excellent job that nothing additional is required.
We still are receiving e-mail and weather forecasts via our Thuraya phone which we did not expect and are carefully monitoring the cyclone situation, but by Wednesday night, we should be safely in the Malacca Straits with only 250 miles remaining.
There has been little shipping traffic: only 3 coasters, a ferry and 3 or 4 fishing boats so far, which is a surprise, so we have the wide, open ocean all to ourselves.We had been undecided whether to head for Phuket or Langkawi first but the potential situation in Thailand last week has confirmed our destination as Langkawi.