Day 130 – Monsoonal Whispers

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Fri 22 Apr 2022 08:22
Noon Position: 05 26.6 S 067 02.7 E
Course: NNE Speed: 2.5 knots
Wind: SW F3 Sea: slight
Swell: SE 1m
Weather: sunny, hot, humid
Day’s Run: 46nm

We have now rounded our first Indian Ocean waypoint, albeit a somewhat arbitrary point chosen primarily to enable us to have a reasonably comfortable run in the SE trades and to keep us well clear of any navigational hazards. In hindsight, I am glad I chose this point well west of the Chagos Archipelago because last night we had a period of nil wind where I handed sail and we drifted. As we drifted it became apparent that we were in the grip of the Equatorial Counter-current which was setting us east at around 1.5 knots. I would not like to have been becalmed close to a reef edge and being set upon it without an engine. More often than not, reef edges tend to be almost vertical so anchoring to prevent going ashore is generally not an option.
But that is not the case. We are well clear of any dangers, both natural and man-made (the latter being the less predictable and therefore the more dangerous), and at 0500 the wind returned, but from the SW, perhaps a hint of the monsoon, rather than the SE, suggesting we have left the trades behind us, though its imprint remains in the one meter swell.
We run wing-on-wing, our next waypoint Minicoy Island, 897 miles ahead.
All is well.