The total distance of the first part of this trip is about 1700NM. That's
about 200NM from Dubai to Fujairah, and about 1500NM from Fujairah to The
Maldives. We topped up the tanks in Fujairah and then started with enough
fuel to motor for about six days, or 800NM. That means that the wind must
provide the balance of the power...
We've had a real mixed bag on the weather. The last few days have
alternated between motoring in the sweltering stillness, and brisk but
normally short lived stints of cool sailing.
As we left Ras Al Hadd, two days out from Fujairah, our desired course and
the wind direction meant that we tacked just short of the point to sail away
from the coast in a perpendicular direction. At the time, it felt like we
really hadn't jumped off 'the edge' (as the name roughly translates) but
after a few hours of building winds and seas, we were in no doubt that the
vastness of the Indian Ocean lay ahead. We'd just reefed in, when a wave
broke over the cockpit, drenching Bernard and Laith. Luckily I was behind
the spray dodger, so I was dry. So we stashed away any remaining loose
stuff, and put the wet cushions etc aside for later drying! We reefed in
some more- and we were still touching 7 kts boat speed with just a scrap of
sail up!! Aroha was handling like a champion, straight like a train on
rails. I was just afraid that something else was going to go "pop" like the
furling drum did the other day. I've had enough fun on the foredeck for one
I think I've learnt as much about Aroha in the last two weeks as I have in
the last two years. I guess it's because once you've made the decision to
leave, you just have to face whatever conditions are thrown at you. I never
imagined that she could clock 7 knots boat speed with so little sail up. I
never knew she could sail so well in light airs- on a casual jaunt up or
down the coast from Dubai, we never used to bother with the sails if the
wind was less than about ten knots!
We're now about 420NM from our destination at Uligamu, with enough fuel for
about 250NM. The last few days we've been getting 'sail-able' breeze for
about ten hours per day, so I think we'll do just fine. We've already taken
a sweepstake on our arrival time... all of us betting on Wednesday...