Indian Ocean Leg 2 Day Fifteen 19 11.126S 061 30.463E
Mike and Liz Downing
Fri 11 Oct 2013 11:31
What did I write yesterday - 'the seas are probably as low as they will get unless the wind drops out completely', well last night the wind dropped out! Not completely, but down to less than 10kts and the seas did go down further. So we gently ambled along at between 4 and 5kts throughout the night and very pleasant it was too, sailing down a moon beam! The moon is now up for the first few hours of the night which makes a big difference. The wind has come up a little today and our speed is up to 5 to 5.5kts. With very little sea and not a cloud in the sky, it's been another lovely sailing day. The low speeds aren't a problem as we started to plan our arrival a couple of days ago and unless we could keep 7kts for the rest of the passage to get in on Saturday, it was looking much more like Sunday. When arriving at a new destination there are two things we try to avoid - going in at night and going in on a falling tide. So on the basis of not making Saturday, we had considered slowing down to arrive at first light Sunday. There are two options, either continue as fast we can and wait (heave to) for dawn when we get there or just go slowly and arrive in the light. However, we didn't have to make the decision as the wind dropped and made it for us. So go slowly it is. One of the boats we know, a lovely 58ft classic Hoek design called Jenny, went into Port Louis after dark a few days ago and ran aground. When they got off they then ran into an unlit wreck. Not a good night! However, it was all at very slow speed and no damage was done, but it shows what can happen if you try to go into a new port for the first time in the dark. So we won't try that one! Port Louis is the capital of Mauritius and the only port of entry (it may even be the only port - haven't done all the homework!). It's a famous old Port where all the ships stopped when going around the Cape before the Suez Canal was open.