Sunday, 23 August 2015

Cocos-Keeling Outbound Day 6

Hi everyone,
We are now at position 15 23S 85 09E sailing at 6 knots on a course of 260M. The wind is 18-22 knots from the ESE and we have a 2.5m SE sea and a very low SSW swell. We are sailing under single-furled yankee and double-reefed main. The sky is pretty much clear of cloud - a nice sunny day. Our day's run to 0900 was 151nm, exactly the same as yesterday, and we have 1270nm to run. We are more than a third of the way there!

Yesterday the wind held in at 20-25 knots all day. Cloud reduced as the day wore on and overnight we had a fairly clear sky. This morning the wind gradually eased to 18-22 knots which is in line with GRIB forecasts. Hopefully it won't decrease much more. The ride is still quite rolly but not as viciously so as it has been. We are starting to hope that the cross-swell from the SSW is behind us. Most accounts state the cross-swell diminishes west of 90E and that appears to be happening for us.

We're now pretty well settled into a routine, especially since the weather has been quite consistent. In addition to reading a lot individually we watch a video together during the day. We wouldn't be doing that if sailing conditions weren't good! It's nice to be able to spend a little time together (other than at meal times) since we're working "watch and watch about". For the last couple of nights we've adapted our watch routine so that the on-watch crew can "catnap" for 15 minutes at a time during their night watches. This is giving us both much more sleep while still preserving a good lookout.

There are now five yachts on passage from CKI with two of those departing yesterday. The evening sked is getting busier. I enjoy running skeds and our radio seems to be performing well. Also on the radio I've been using the Winlink station in Mauritius to test our backup email. I first contacted the station just after leaving Cocos-Keeling. The station is quite new and really improves coverage in the Indian Ocean. Sailmail users have less choice than Winlink users in this part of the world. Sailmail is a paid service while Winlink is free but only available to licenced amateur (ham) operators. Winlink offers Winmor as well as Pactor-based communication which is much cheaper to install.

Sometime tomorrow night we expect to cross 82 30E so will move our clocks back an hour. The day after we should reach the half-way mark. Both are nice milestones at sea. One of our friends in WA gave us a "care pack" which was not to be opened before departing CKI. That's scheduled for inspection at one of these milestones!

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