Day 5 in the Indian Ocean

Pearl of Persia
Andrew Lock
Tue 15 Oct 2013 12:40
We turned the engine off a couple of hours out of Bali and the sails have
been up since. The sea has been fairly flat and comfortable and the winds
consistent but what has really helped is a strong current that has been
pushing us along towards Cocos Keeling for the past two days.
One day glides into the next as we spend time either sleeping, eating or
reading. Deciding on the sail plan, and adjusting them also take up the day,
particularly if the winds are from behind. Contrary to what you would
expect, winds from behind can be difficult so we have to decide whether to
set the big cruising chute, basically a massive kite, and if not, how to
arrange the traditional white sails. The big kite is great unless the winds
gets strong and then it's a challenge to bring it down.
The nights are wonderfully clear and start out pitch black and with the help
of the 'sky at night app on the ipad you can spot the different stars and
planets. Many an hour is spent lying looking up at the black sky and my
record for spotting shooting stars has been 3 in one night. Gradually a warm
yellow glow appears below the horizon and then a light appears and slowly
the moon rises. It's a beautiful sight, and within an hour the whole
seascape is illuminated in silvery light
Last night we sailed past Christmas Island, away 18 miles to the north. All
we saw were two beacon lights flashing in the dark. It would have been fun
to have visited but the timing didn't work out for us. We didn't want to
make a night entry into an unknown harbour, without good reason.
The photograph shows Andrew checking the cruising chute

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