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March 17, 2007

Final Approach - update at 1000hrs GMT on 17th

LOCATION: Arabian Sea Crossing
Day: 46
Longitude: N:11°56.006'
Latitude: E: 043°48.120'
Heading: 260°M
Wind: variable, Force: 1-2
Miles total Mumbai - Djibouti: 1,896
Miles from Mumbai: 1,852
Miles to Djibouti: 44

African insects are now landing on board (the first bugs we've had to deal for 6 days since leaving India) a sure sign that land is somewhere nearby over the horizon. And half an hour ago a tremendous boom shook the stillness of the ocean, presumbly from a French or American jet stationed out of Djibouti.

On planet Moksha things are plugging ahead as hoped for. The southwesterly this morning didn't amount to much (thank goodness) and as I write this the sea around us is quite benign, with even a gentle swell and breeze from our stern quarter. Very nice! Earlier we even had a rain squall come overhead giving Sher his first freshwater wash in 46 days (unfortunately I was pedaling at the time so am still filthy).

The most recent forecast indicates that these variable conditions will persist into this evening, by which time we should be within 30 miles of Djibouti itself. Then the dreaded northwesterly force 3 is due to kick in in the wee hours of tomorrow morning, so this is still one factor that could put the whole plan into a spin. But if we can continue this pace we might just get in behind the sheltered lee of the islands of Moucha and Maskal, 10 miles NE of Djibouti.

Kenny and Nathalie are heading out to the island this evening on a hired support craft where they will spend the night and, all things being equal, rendezvous with us tomorrow morning for the final run in. This is of course entirely dependent on this damn northwesterly.

In the meantime we are keeping to short, intense 1.5hr shifts. While one person keeps the pistons pumping the person at rest keeps them fueled with tea and food. Will update the situation again in 6 hours.


Posted on March 17, 2007 2:45 PM