Day 129 – Indian Ocean Way Point One

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 21 Apr 2022 08:48
Noon Position: 06 08.9 S 066 50.3 E
Course: NNE Speed: 3.5 knots
Wind: SE F3 Sea: slight
Swell: SE 1m
Weather: sunny, hot, humid
Day’s Run: 57nm sailed, 43nm made good

As today’s statistics suggest, our noon to noon run has been dominated by light, variable winds. Nonetheless, good old Sylph has kept us moving steadily and roughly in the right direction, and while the speed made good towards our next waypoint is slightly under two knots, we are getting there. Indeed, our first Indian Ocean waypoint is now only nine miles away, so, unless the wind dies completely, we should round it in three to four hours. Our next waypoint is Minicoy Island, 940 miles away bearing of 022T.
The highlight of the last 24 hours was watching a gannet float past on his own little raft made from a polystyrene box. Being without an engine has its up side (Sylph I mean, not the gannet's raft). One is not tempted to turn the horrid thing on when it gets calm like this and the opportunities to witness the environment and its creatures is exponentially increased. Clearly, when birds and fish hear a noisy engine they generally scatter in the opposite direction. Whereas, when one drifts by you tend to be seen as a curiosity to be investigated rather then a potential threat to flee from.
Admittedly the bird life in this region has thus far been dominated by gannets (another one decided to rest on board last night – a very messy one I am afraid), but fish have been in abundance. As we were barely drifting along yesterday I looked over the side and could see several small dark fish swimming vigorously, trying to keep up with the shade of Sylph’s hull. And there have been numerous medium sized fish breaking the surface on a regular basis, presumably an indication of larger predators beneath. I found a dead flying fish on deck this morning but they have been unusually scarce for the tropics. At other times in other oceans I have seen hundreds of flying fish taking to the air as Sylph approached, but here I have seen very few.
This forenoon I filled the hollows in the ex-rust patches with some epoxy filler. There were some thunderheads around this morning but by mid-forenoon most of them had dissipated so I decided that I could risk a bit of ship husbandry, though another spot of solid rain would be very welcome. If no rain threatens then later this afternoon I will sand the patches and put another coat of primer on.
All is well.