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March 2, 2007

Current Slackened/Last Gasp from the Watermaker

LOCATION: Arabian Sea Crossing
Day: 31
Longitude: N:14°52.324'
Latitude: E: 054°33.547'
Heading: 290°M
Wind: n/a, Force: calm
Miles total Mumbai - Djibouti: 1,861
Miles from Mumbai: 1,163
Miles to Djibouti: 693

Power is low in the batteries so this will have to be a shorty. But we wanted to send a quick update that all is well and the current that was driving us south towards the island of Suqutra over the past 48 hours has slackened considerably and we're now managing to claw back northward to our original 'safety' latitude of 15 degrees north (of the equator). The recommended clearance from Suqutra and the Somali coast is 150 nautical miles, presumably as the speedboats that these pirates use have a finite range in terms of fuel.

While the threat of piracy lessens with every mile northward we regain, we can't really be sure of gaining entry in the Gulf of Aden until we're more around the 51 degree east line of longitude, still another 200 miles to the west of our position. So for now we need to keep focused and not let our guard down, which is hard because the lack of wind these past two days has us longing to leap into the water at the slightest excuse. Our bodies sweat even while pedaling at 3am, while earlier in the voyage we'd at least have respite from the heat in the nightime hours.

The big news today is the watermaker failing for perhaps the last time. There was an almighty crack as Sher was pumping it this afternoon and on inspection the damage looks terminal. There are no more brass plaques to mend anything with and this crack has essentially split the entire machine in two. At the time of writing we have 90 litres remaining from the water given to us by the cargo ship MSC Eliana all those weeks ago, which should last us for around 11 days. Then there are the last resort bags of emergency water stored as ballast, which should give us another 8 days supply. So if we make it to Djibouti by the 20th, as we're on course for at our current daily mileage, we'll just scrape by. But it'll be close!


Posted on March 2, 2007 2:42 PM