Finished work on 11th July 2008. Bye bye Karachi, at least for now. I've enjoyed Karachi immensely and look forward to returning on a different project. Who knows what will happen. But now we're off sailing!!!
Plan is to fly from Karachi via Dubai and get down to Seychelles. Sort out our boat Prinos and set sail to Thailand via Maldives. Wonderful. Nothing stopping us this time round.
Ronny our Skipper has been busy organizing the trip, getting everything shipshape. The way to go!!
We arrived back on Mahe on afternoon of the 11th July having caught up with Ian in Dubai Airport. He's joining us on the trip. Arrived at Mahe and then with no waiting, just a quick hello to Mahe and we set sail for La Digue to check on our house. Well we won't be seeing it again in a while will we?
Weekend was a blur of running around and a few beers with friends. Back to Mahe on the Monday having left the house all sorted.
Spend Monday and Tuesday getting Prinos ready. There are four of us on the planned trip. Ian, Ronny, Wanna and myself. Thanks to Ronny, the Skipper, who had been working on the boat over the last few months nearly all the jobs were done. Few bits and pieces main to be done and we should be ready. Just need to clear customs and immigration etc. Usual formalities for most people but for us on our first international trip a big and interesting event for us all.
As it happens the official side is easy. Everyone very helpful and generally interested as to what were our plans. Where are you going ? How long will it take? Have you done it before? Even got asked if we had a spare berth! Seychelles to Addoo Atoll in Maldives is approximately 1150Nautical Miles. We estimate about 10-12 days sailing. And now is the time to go with good favourable winds.
Woke up on board Wednesday morning all bright and early. Full of excitement and anticipation. Tea brewed and Ian, Wanna and I getting all chatty and nervous with anticipation. Ronny still having a sleep in. Few minutes later up he gets and joins us. Clearly he had got up on the wrong side of the bed. "I'm not coming..". "What ? Why not?...". "I'm not going, so Alan, please find another skipper." That's it. No discussion and no real clarity as to why not. We're down to three!
Quick chat between Wanna, Ian and I. Decision made. We are going anyway. Ronny jumped ship with all his belongings and we went round to the Marine Charter for final top up of fuel and water.
Final clearance of immigration scheduled for 12.00am 16th July 2008. We're ready for the off. Right next to us at the Coast Guard departure station is another yacht "Mareja". We had seen them on La Digue several months earlier and never really got to meet them just a quick "Bonjour' in the mornings. Now here they were departing on the same time as us. So finally a chat. To our surprise they are on the same route as us to Phukett via Addoo Atoll, Maldives. Amazing. Should see them in Addoo. Seems we are fast becoming part of the sailing fraternity.
A major down side of Ronny not joining us apart from the obvious benefits of him on board was the fact that the dinghy we had borrowed belonged to a friend of his. We decided so as to avoid any complications not to take it. So we left 'sans' dinghy. Telling ourselves we can sort one out at the next stop.
That's it. Immigration cleared, customs cleared and the boat facing out to open water and adventures ahead.
We were off. Really, just the three of us and an open sea. Sounds easy if you've done it before, but if not, which was our case, and then it is a very liberating experience. Trust me I know! Also very scary if you let the doubts creep in....
Looking back over the stern we can see Mahe. Soon it will be gone and night will fall. What will tomorrow bring? So far wonderful good weather with a fair but not to strong. So far so good.