Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Mon 13 May 2019 22:57
Our first look at Diffushi, we will park behind once we clear the pass. An impromptu rest night and off again tomorrow late afternoon.
Lining up for the pass to the left of the sand spit.
Left lumpy bit, us and right lumpy bit..
Once inside, water below us about 28 metres, we scoped out a place to anchor and saw one little boat. It seems such a very long time since we have seen such natural beauty. And the blues are gorgeous.
Behind us and to our right the sand spit, a thing of postcards.
One happy captain, yes Cecily, I must cut his hair and beard before we get to Gan..... We had Anthony’s (Wild Fox) anchor waypoint (bottom of picture) as a fall back but found our own spot in six metres, a sandy bit between to low-lying reefs.
Our view. We watched a sea plane land on the island at the far end of the atoll and at some point the little boat went. I feel sorry for yachties who have to travel in a herd and never get the sensation of being alone in such a beautiful place. Sadly we can see quite large pieces of rubbish on the beach that must have come in on the current as no one lives here.
The gap between our island and the next. Rolling surf behind.
Time to stop taking in the scenery and get some analysis entered in the logbook. Journey 324.6 nm. Total of 78 hours and 20 minutes of which the engine was on for 34 hours and 20 minutes. Not bad considering and the fact that save for my ankle and Bear’s sore hands, we have actually had a wonderful passage upon the Indian Ocean....at last. AND the autopilot performed as it should. Altogether a happy-ish crew. I so need to hear back from the authorities in London that our BIOT Permit has been amended to arrive n the 3rd of June instead of on the 15th of May. If it doesn’t come in the next day or two we will race to Chagos having missed nearly a week, by the time we get there.
Lunch was a bit celebratory. Hot, crispy samosas and tandoori chicken bits (bought in Lulu’s) with a big salad and a wee snifter for a toast to being here. A quick win at backgammon, growling loudly. Bear settled himself for a pose. Soon in the warm, fairly clear water he went off to poke a screwdriver up the various inlet and outlet holes and have another go at the propeller.
I made a foolish, rash and utterly mad decision to put my poorly flipper on my bad foot so it couldn’t work even if I wanted it to and flap over to the coral with my left foot and hands. Hmmm, quite a lot further than I thought but the little bit of current there was with me. Oh, that might make it a bit more of a slog back. I did the tiny bit of tissue trick before I left so I’m not all that daft. Chuck a tiny piece of tissue and watch what happens to it. If it races away foolhardy to go in these waters (many drown in The Maldives each year). Anyhoo, I saw my first lump of brain coral and they always say it is the most sensitive of chaps when it comes to pollution, and as this one looks bonny all is well.
As I came into shallower water I saw a whole gang of juvenile angel fish who didn’t seem one bit bothered when I got amongst them. A fair sized tuna came to check me out and a couple of small jacks smooched by.
Nothing we haven’t seen before but nonetheless thrilling to see.
I found a dead area to stand (only way we can claim to have been somewhere) in and as visibility in the shallows was poor due to the fine sand swirling about, I headed back to deeper water. No soft coral or Nemo’s but the hard coral was in quite good shape and looks like it is recovering from a previous storm as opposed to bleaching.
We both left the water at the same time, showered and settled in the cockpit for a game of Mexican Train Dominoes. I lost the twelves by 105 and thought I was in for a tough ride. As it happens I won very easily. Here is Bear on the threes some way into the round with no less than twenty-one tiles in front of him, I had four....... If you think I’m going to say anything pleasant, think again, I’ll simply growl loudly. OK whatever makes you feel better. Growling again.
We played some Rummikub until sunset and Bear got fed up with losing......HUH.... As he settled in to watch some NCIS Los Angeles, I made him an egg sandwich and as we watched in bed, I sorted the journeys pictures. Too tired to blog, I played some games on my IPad until nearly ten when I set up the sat phone link to Bear’s old laptop. Fingers crossed but no updated Permit. Wrote an evermore desperate email to the lady who deals with Permits and for some strange reason I felt compelled to try another connection, just in case she worked until five thirty and not five. I had a message. She had been on holiday for two weeks with no internet and she said that her emails were only “seldomly looked at”. I’ll ponder that later........She did say in the last sentence that I could be assured of an update tomorrow. Another long day of waiting. Settled very late and awake at four thirty, my rest night came to nought. At least we can have a lay in on the morrow as we won’t be leaving until 16:30 to 17:00 to time the next impromptu stop at Hulhudheli, 172 nm away in daylight.
ALL IN ALL A PEACEFUL HAVEN
IDYLLIC TRANQUILLITY - NO TUKTUKS OR HOOTING.....