The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Wed 15 Feb 2017 01:11



10:35N   090:59E


So far we've done 135 miles with 706  miles to go. We did 135 miles in the last 23 hours.  We’ve got 80% clouds and 15-20 knot NE winds.  We’re rolling downwind with 2 metre seas.   Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


14 February 2017    Port Blair to Galle, Sri Lanka (Day 1)

We were up at six o’clock and I did some adjustments to our rigging.  Yesterday while we were hard on the wind, I’d noticed that the front lower shrouds and the intermediate shrouds were a little loose, so I went up the mast and tightened them by half a turn.  I’ll keep an eye on it and might have to tighten a little bit more.


We then lifted the dinghy on deck, battened everything down and at 07:30, I called Port Control to ask for permission to leave.  To our astonishment, it was very simple – I gave them the number from our Port Clearance document, the number of souls on board, our destination, ETA and we were allowed to leave.  Phew!


It took us an hour to get out of the port, bashing into 4-6 foot waves and against the wind, but we were soon past Ross Island and able to ease the sheets. The next four hours were unpleasant because we had 2 metre confused seas on the beam, but by lunch time, we’d turned the corner and were running straight downwind with the genoa poled out to port, heading on a course of 245 degrees directly for Sri Lanka, 800 miles and 7 days away.


The Andaman Islands are on the same time zone as Mumbai which is much further west and consequently its been going dark just after 17:30 which is far too early , so we moved all of our clocks forward by an hour and went onto an Alba time zone.  This worked out well because we were able to watch the sun go down while having dinner and it was dark when Glenys went to bed at 19:00.


Overnight, we had a steady 15-20 knots of wind and a 2 metre swell directly from behind us, so we made good time, but we rolled and rolled and rolled. We’d be okay for a minute, but then a wave would catch us wrong and we’d roll up to 30 degrees for a minute.  We’d then settle down with a gentle roll for a minute and then have a minute of chaos... It’s very wearing hanging on all the time and difficult to sleep.