THE INDIAN OCEAN
Monday 12 February, 2007 – 10:47
We have now been at sea for 8 days and have still another 700 miles to go. We reached our rendezvous point,approx 900 miles from the Horn of Africa in plenty of time and ended up having to slow right down to allow the slower boats to catch up. We have now met up with Bamsen (Halberg Rassy 62), Free Wheel (Tayana 55) and Coco de Mer(Dixon 57) and are traveling in convoy until we get to Djibouti. It is certainly quite interesting at night with less than a half mile separating each of us, especially when there is no moon. We can no longer watch videos and read – you have be at the helm continuously, not only watching for unidentified vessels (possible pirates), but making sure you don’t run into the boat ahead. There are advantages being together, as we have an excellent support network.
This morning Richard had to don his scuba gear and dive on Bansen, as they thought they might have caught a rope around their prop. This isn’t the first time Richard’s been for a swim in the middle of the Indian Ocean – a couple of nights ago we were going along under sail when we went straight over a fishing net – stopping the boat completely. He had to put the scuba gear on again and cut the net away from one of the sail drives, this time at night!! Fortunately there was no damage. It is quite common to find nets over 5 miles long floating on the surface. They some times mark the end of the net with a light but in our case they didn’t! On the fishing front we must have hooked at least a half dozen good fish, but somehow they weren’t that interested in coming on board!! – One was a massive marlin, at least the size of a large dolphin, which stayed on the line for at least 2 minutes before it decided to leap straight out of the water and throw the hook. Quite spectacular. Richard also spent an hour trying to land a large tuna – must have been at least 40 kilo’s (well may be a bit less!!!). He got it right up to the boat and we were just about to gaff it when it made its final effort to get away and it snapped the line. We did manage to land a couple of nice size Mahi Mahi, which is fortunate as we are starting to get low on supplies. Penny’s been baking bread and has enough flour for a few more loaves, but we have plenty of rice and pasta and enough tinned ingredients to make up sauces. One becomes very creative in the galley. Only 4 more nights at sea so we wont starve.