Phuket to Sumatra

Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Simon Blundell
Thu 24 May 2012 03:00

05:24.70N 096:32.56E

24/5 0400LT

Mad quick stop off at Phuket to refill LPG (which can't do in Langkawi) and get two alternators repaired. After just a day and a half anchored at Au Chalong, picked up altyernators at 5pm then straight back to boat to finish off jobs and prepare for the 200nm to Banda Aceh.

Finished work at midnight and still somewhat tired from lack of sleep last few days so decided to have a nap and pull anchor at 3am.

Depatrted on time and as soon as we rounded S end of Phuket sailed straight into the trade winds. Full genny and mizzen and one reef in the main we started heading SW. Winds consistant at 12-15kn to begin and sailing hard-on making mostly 7-8kn. Winds increased through the day to 15-18kn making it a little harder to sail very close as that rersults in hammering hard into every wave. Seas where mostly slight, but periods of larger confused seas made for very wet trip.

Zac not doing too well. Sleeping when possible and hiding in cockpit corner when neeeding some air.

Wind and seas a bit heavy to rely on autopilot, (although it could handle fine the slacker periods) meaning I spent entire crossing at the helm station (36hr).Dropped off the wind several degrees and decide to close the Sumatra coast before tacking and hope for lighter, possibly friendlier land breeze to sail N up the coast to Banda Aceh.

At a few stages through the night we had very strong gusts and a few violent squalls, although nothing over 22kn with brief peaks at 25. Apart from Zac's incapacitation and my tiredness, the sailing was terrific. EO handled the striong head winds as expected and mostly we charged at 8-10kn at 35-38 deg wind angle with only a few degrees of leeway. Of course it was wet. Spray and green water over the deck was continuous and at one time with us both in the cockpit a wave broke over our side and half filled the cockpit andf dumped about 2 foot of water over the entire length of the yacht!