22nd November, the day of the last post, saw no winds. We were becalmed and I took the opportunity to take bath. It was only then that I realised that my skin was not dark because of tan but because of grime. Lynn says, the boat would move faster only if I washed off the weight of grime everyday. Somehow, there is a correlation - each time I have had a shower at sea, the boat has come out of its sluggish sloshing and gathered speed with a determination. No wonder sailors are a superstitious lot. Thank you, Lynn.
The Mhadei and I found the trade winds that very noon and almost two hours later, we were scudding alone at a healthy speed of 8 knots upwind despite the reef on the main. As usual, the onset was announced by gathering clouds. That day our southward plunge started and we were on our way to the Tropic of Capricorn and from there to the eastbound highway. We have been eating away latitudes ever since hitting the trades and as I write this, I am almost in the same latitude, albeit south of the Equator, as Mumbai.
The nights have been cloudless though and stars have come out in strength. Ever since the passing of Dewali, the moon has been waxing and nights have become lit with so much moonlight that I wished it was night all day long.
Things have been going on pretty well with the boat but for the generator which was continuously dogged by low oil pressure warning. I spent considerable time trying to find out the reason and it was certain that the lube oil was not the cause for we had only recently serviced the generator. Nevertheless, I checked the lube oil level which was well within limits. After much deliberation, I remembered the words of the mechanic from Laurenco Marine who had mentioned that lube oil could lose its viscosity if it became too hot and pressure might drop. That forced me to check the cooling system and sure enough, there lay the fault! After that, it was just a matter of minutes before the problem was resolved. Its working well now, as if we are not sailing at all but it was a Sunday in harbour.
Here is a short video of sailing in trade winds
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