The Captain of a warship had given me a gift wrapped shoebox a day before I left harbour. When I opened it at sea, I saw that it contained an enormous number of butter cookies which tasted so delicious that I would make meal of it at times. The shoebox is empty now. So are the bananas and potatoes and cucumbers and cabbages. Fresh provisions are dwindling and all I am left with are some apples, oranges and tomatoes.
The boat has been sailing pretty well since the last post on Sunday. We crossed the Indian peninsula and the decision to head closer to land and towards Palk Bay seems to have paid off. That area kept up with its reputation and winds picked up to a breeze of 15 knots and more at times. We have been cruising along ever since at speeds bottoming at 6 knots. Yesterday was a good day because we did 145 miles in 24 hours- almost thrice of what we were averaging in the lulls.
On the flip side, it has been squally and it promises to remain so. That has robbed me of some sleep. More often that not, I am waking up at odd hours shortening sails and riding out 25 knot guts. The sun has been blanketed out for most part of the day and it is all very gloomy. The sea is short and the swells are making good work of flapping the sails every now and then.
Passing Sri Lanka reminds me of the only time we had called at Colombo. The year was 2009 and the Mhadei had just been inducted into the navy. That had been her first oversees port of call. We had sailed in to carry out some work on our sails that had come from North Sails, New Zealand. Sri Lanka, unknown to many of us, boasts of the world’s largest North Sails factory. It was a pleasant trip with pleasant memories and a learning experience for us as first time crew. She had evoked so much curiosity that she made friends of almost all who came in touch with her.
Yesterday was Deepawali. It became more of a Holi when the day announced itself with a squall dissipating right overheard. There was enough rain and I took bath- a good omen I would say. People later pointed out that it was more of an Abhyangasnana.. Breakfast was pre cooked Halwa that Defence Food Research Laboratories had supplied and did it taste delicious! I did not carry a lamp with me, so just lit the stove so that there would be some light. Happy Deepawali to one and all! May there be an abundance of light in your lives all year around.
Up next- Picking the Line. The Equator is only one and half day’s sail but I have other plans.