Day 136 – Mostly Ghosting

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 28 Apr 2022 08:52
Noon Position: 03 20.0 N 069 08.4 E
Course: Drifting
Wind: F0 Sea: calm
Swell: SW 0.5m
Weather: sunny, hot, humid
Day’s Run: 56 nm

Somehow we have still managed to make over fifty miles in the last 24 hours which, considering the light winds and calms we have experienced for most of it, is pretty good. Once again we have had the sails up and down through the night, setting them whenever a ghost of a breeze appears, and dropping them when it disappears and Sylph is left rolling, sails chafing against the rigging.
Towards sunset we were in one of our drifting periods with sails down. I looked at the glassy sea with just a few ripples smudging it here and there and my thoughts turned to the barnacles that still clung to Sylph’s quarters. I normally have a bucket wash of an evening to cool down and wash the day’s grime off but I thought why not go for a swim instead and scrape off the rest of the barnacles. So I rigged the swim ladder, put on swimmers and a rash shirt (more to protect me from the hull and barnacles than the sun), grabbed a mask and snorkel and gingerly climbed down the ladder, having a good look under the hull before committing to jumping in the water. No large critters were found lurking so in I went.
I am pleased to say that there were fewer barnacles than I expected. Clearly we picked them up in cooler latitudes and I suspect the warm equatorial water was not conducive to their further growth. I scraped off the few that remained with my plastic egg slide and returned on board. The sea temperature is 31 degrees so I can’t say the swim was very refreshing, but apart from getting some anti-fouling paint on my legs I was a bit cleaner.
We have had the sails up since 0300 when a nice gentle breeze picked up from the west. This had us making good about three knots until dawn, the period in which we would have made most of the miles over the last 24 hours. Since sunrise we have ghosted along before the lightest of airs making just on one knot. Now even that light air has abandoned us and we drift upon a glassy sea with nary a ripple in sight.
It is 380 miles to Minicoy Island. I won’t hazard a guess as to when we will round it.
All is well.