Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dispatches from the Indian Ocean

Great news!  AMARA should be reaching landfall by the 12th!  That's just around the corner.  I am so happy to know that they are almost there and that land is near.  It's been a rough ride and Martin, David and Doug are anxious to make it to Durban.

I got a great email from Doug today that I thought I would share with you.  It demonstrates how there is never a dull moment while at sea.

Enjoy the read...

"This morning while I was on watch (at the helm) I saw a Humpback whale breech very close to the boat.  It jumped almost completely out of the water, then fell on its side with a tremendous splash.. less than a hundred yards from the boat.  Very cool!  He then swam along side us for a while before losing interest and moving away.

Then later during that same watch I encountered a very interesting navigational problem.  The instrument that measures boat speed relative to the water said we were moving west at eight knots.  However, the instrument that measures boat speed relative to ground (the GPS) said that the boat was basically not moving at all.  We were in a very strange ocean current eddy that was pushing us to the east at the same speed that we were moving through the water to the west.  The net result was no progress even though we were sailing as fast as we could.  An eight knot current eddy is almost unheard of, but not impossible. The waters in this part of the Indian Ocean are famous for doing strange things like this and today they lived up to their reputation.  (In case you're wondering what I did to solve the problem... I pointed the boat north and ran that way for a while until we were clear of the strange eddy.  If I hadn't done that and things hadn't changed then we could have stayed in that same spot of the ocean forever, sailing as fast as we could but getting nowhere.)"