Halfway Home, If Home Were Oman
18 April 2010 | In the midst of the Arabian Sea
6:00 p.m. (13:00 UTC) Sunday, April 18, 2010 16 44 N, 66 37,
OK, so we're jumping the gun, and the halfway mark won't be reached until tomorrow, or, if there's no wind, sometime next week. Hope springs eternal.
Boy, this passage feels L-O-N-G. Partly because, at something like 1600 miles, it is, but maybe also because we've been doing a lot of passage-making lately.
657 miles from the start, 726 to go. (It's OK. Don't challenge our math. We're only 657 miles from the start point, but our route involves a big left hand turn to take advantage of winds off the coast of India. We've actually sailed and motored 837 miles to earn that 657 as the crow flies. And, in truth, given the amount of zig0zagging we'll probably have to do, we'll have to travel further than just 726 to get this done.)
Things continue to go just fine. We've been motoring a substantial amount of the time, as the wind is rarely more than gossamer. When our boat speed drops down to less than 2 knots, we motor. Two knots - do you know how far you go in 24 hours sailing at 2 knots? About 50 miles! Such a pace can really stretch out a 1600 mile journey. When there is a light wind, is out of the West, which appears to be where we want to go, unless we want to just go with the wind, which would take us to Pakistan, which, no kidding, we gave a moments thought at one point.
Westy Westerbeke continues to hold up its end of the bargain. We won't say anything more about that, not because we're superstitious, but just because. We watch our fuel levels like a hawk, gauging how much motoring we can do and how much sailing we must do to get to Oman.
Paul has spent some time today repairing a sink pump, and Sima is at the galley making yet another meal. It'll be delicious, no doubt.
On watch just before dawn last night, Paul got up to stare into the mostly starry sky over the flat and calm sea. Scorpio was high in the southern sky, crawling along, it's tail held high and Antares winking red near its pinching claws. You know, the stars are pretty good at sea, but we don't spend a lot of time with them. The mast and sails and rigging are often blocking a good portion of the sky, and if the sea is up, it can be a bit too rocky to set things straight. Our next boat will be a catamaran, with its flat open net in the front, on which we'll lie and star gaze.
As the day ends, the seas are flat, the sun low in the sky, and all is fair aboard Leander.
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