We have had the luck of seeing some wildlife. There were whales a day after the departure, schools of dolphins as is the wont and the two sparrows I wrote about earlier. There has been some amount of bio-luminescence too. Cdr Donde remarked they might be reflections of stars, but on a cloudy day they were the sea’s own stars. Today we were fortunate to have a couple of dolphins at night. They criss crossed the bow and left in their wake a disturbed sea that mildly erupted with light, as if an anaconda made of stardust.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Five days of sailing (mostly motoring) and we are crossing Maldives. Suvarna is in company. It has been a hot five days, with an un anticipated 2 knot northward current slowing our progress. Squalls have been frequent, but wind has not been so. We languished a while before deciding to motor for fear that we might not make it to the race in time. Will it be Cape Town for new years? Not too sure.
My body has settled into a routine unlike previous sailings. Bowel movements have been normal and I make it a point to take bath once a day. Sea water is not one bit sticky. Twice while we shook off a reef from the main, I was able to gather about a bucket of fresh water with the help of someone else. I used it for bathing.
A cute couple of sparrows found their way into the boat about a hundred miles out of Goa. We tried to feed them and humour them, but I guess they are not too fond of sailors’ food. One of them died. Cdr Dilip gave her a sea burial. He said the final stitch wasn’t through the nose because she had a beak. I don’t know what happened to the other.
Capt Prakash, Commanding Officer of INS Mandovi left a fine collection of books (19 of them in all). His only request was that he wanted all of them back to which I replied that there were two kinds of fools –“those that lend books, and those that return them”. That prompted him to make a catalogue. So far I have finished Woody Allen’s “Side Effects” and Murakami’s “After the Quake”. Now onto “King Rat”.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Preparations for the Cape to Rio Race have been going on pretty well indeed. By afternoon today the boat’s refit was completed with nothing pending. We even sailed out a couple of times, once with NDTV crew for a shoot and once independently to check out the water maker etc. What remains are fuelling, provisioning and stocking up on essentials such as medicines. That done, we hope to sail out sometime next week. It will be sad to leave one crew behind. In all possibility it will be Ram Lal who has been showing a lot of dedication in his short stint with the boat. I hope to give him a slot as crew some other time.