Soon after crossing the Equator we were fortunate to have wind and current assisting us in making an a quick eastward passage. The speed was good and there were days on which we did anywhere between 170-190 miles against the planned average of 150. Meanwhile, a cyclonic circulation was brewing south east of us around a closed isobar. My aim was to sail East of it, and having passed it make use of the trade winds to sail southward. So far, the plan has worked out despite the fact that winds have died down east of the circulation. But it is only a matter of time before we catch up with the trade winds which has been predicted to hold more than 25 kn winds within itself.
The sun, meanwhile, has considerably worked up its intensity. Its rays are so scorching that one might feel it would pierce through skin and body and come out the other way. Body hair is showing tell tale signs of bleaching- it has started turning golden brown in colour. The beard has grown beyond the point where it pokes my own skin. The heat is almost stopping the brain from functioning and I do need take more naps to cool it down. Sunburn is much more severe when you are at sea because of all the reflections of sunlight around you. On my part, I still refuse to wear sunblock preferring instead to wear clothes with high SPF value.
I thought I would read a lot in this voyage and I do like reading. Instead of choosing books myself, I asked a few of my reliable friends to contribute, so that the library I would carry would be more of a radio station than a collection of songs. I tried reading the moment I cast off and was over my sleep deprivation but somehow it did not catch on. What I could read turned out to be Tinkle comics and almost two years of Nat Geo issues that the ACK media team had gifted on the day of departure. Almost after ten days, I found what would be a safe bet for me anytime, anywhere, any weather- a book called One Hundred Years of Solitude. Having read that in a matter of two nights, I moved on to The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant. I find it incredibly engrossing and way different from other books I have tried to read on the subject. It has also sparked a desire to read Voltaire when I get back.
As I write this, there is another Indian Navy sailing vessel called the Sudarshini which is sailing on a voyage to South East Asia, She is a barque rigged tall ship forming a part of the Training Squadron. You can read her skipper’s blog here.. http://www.aseanindia.com/skippers-blog
Next up- Trade Winds
Almost knocking on the doors of trade winds, I have covered about 2500 nautical miles in 22 days at an average speed of 5knots. This includes the days I was becalmed.