Destination

Home
Laos Letters
Vietnam Letters
India Letters
Nepal Letters
Indonesia Letters
Malaysia Letters
Thailand Letters
Sri Lanka Letters
Maldives Letters
Chagos Letters
Seychelles Letters
Madagascar Letters
Mayotte Letters
Africa Letters

Maldives Letters

Up
Ocelot has Leaped
An Ocelot Sailing Day
Southern Hemisphere
Maldives Arrival
Ocelot in the Maldives
Back to the Maldives
Sea of Silk
Shearwaters
Ocelot Arrives

Related Pages

Maldives Home
Maldives Diving
Maldives Cruising Info

Ocelot Arrives

Jon relaxes at sunset
Relaxing at sunset

Monday 28 September 2009, at sea

Dear Friends and Family,

We had a LOVELY day yesterday.  A gentle sailing breeze came up about 9am and Ocelot happily splashed along on the flat water.  The sky was blue, the clouds were distant, and life was relaxed.

About 7pm the wind died (as it has for the last several days) so we started motor-sailing under starry skies with half a moon watching over us.  Jon turned the watch over to Sue at midnight and went to get some sleep.

Jon changes the new anchor for our bigger "storm anchor", at sea!
Jon changes our anchors -- at sea!

About 4am Jon woke up to a different noise.  The water was no longer swishing gently past the hull, it was WHOOOSHing.  Thinking there was a squall going past, he got up to see if Sue needed help.  But no, she had everything competently in hand - it's just that a 20 knot wind had suddenly come up and Ocelot was surfing along at 9 knots with spurts over 12!  Yikes!

When we hit the calm weather on our 3rd day, we backed the autopilot response down to 2 to save electrons and wear (4 is normal for us).  But with this wind dead behind us we risk jibing the main as the waves grab our rudders and slew us around, so we've cranked it up to 6 to keep Ocelot sailing a straight course.  Although we like the brisk sailing breeze, our weather files showed NO signs of it coming.

So we're sailing wing-&-wing and scooting along.  The fishing lines went out at first light but we don't usually catch fish when we're sailing this fast.  As I write this (7am) we're at 049'S 7151'E, or 80nm from Gan.  The GPS is predicting a 9pm arrival, which is certainly sub-optimal but there's not much we can do.  We've got a good moon and lots of spot-lights and we've been there before so we know what things look like.

Fair winds and calm seas -- Jon and Sue Hacking


Tuesday 29 September 2009, Addu Atoll!

Wing and wing on our last day before reaching Gan
Wing and wing, on our last day before Gan

Dear Friends and Family,

Yesterday we actually had a nice sailing breeze from right behind us.  Comfortable, but one of our slowest points of sail, even sailing wing-&-wing.  The GPS was saying that we'd arrive at Addu after midnight, which would be after the moon had set, which we certainly didn't like.  So we ended up having the starboard motor on for much of the day, to push our arrival time forward.

At 5pm Jon cried "Land HO" as he spotted palm-trees on the horizon through the binoculars.  At dusk we started seeing the lights of Addu Atoll and at 8pm we got to our waypoint just outside the southern entrance.  The sun had set 2 hours earlier but we had a clear sky and half a moon lighting up our surroundings.  We jibed the mainsail over and entered the lagoon, using radar and our GPS tracks from April 2007.

Jon raises the Maldives and Q flags in Gan
Jon raises the Maldives and Q flags in Gan

Our anchorage is 3 miles inside the lagoon, just north of the island of Gan.  The entrance to the anchorage is tiny and used to be marked only by sticks and fishing floats, neither very permanent.  We approached cautiously, with Sue on the bows using our powerful 3 million candlepower spotlight.  She picked up the pole marking the north side of the entrance but failed to spot the float marking the south side until we were right on top of it.  We spent a few tense moments backing up in 10' (3m) of water but eventually found the channel.

The channel was clear enough that Sue could see the underwater coral in our spotlight.  We crept cautiously in and anchored just before 9pm behind a pair of dive-boats in 15' (5m) of water.  Shortly afterwards we felt a sprinkling of rain-drops, so I think we made it just in time.  We celebrated with a glass of Amarula and went to bed for our first uninterrupted sleep in 8 days!

Friendly officials in Gan, but careful of swine flu.
Friendly officials, but careful of swine flu

If you want to check out the anchorage on Google Earth, we're at 041'S 7309'E.  The causeways between the islands were built by the British when Gan was a military airbase, and are unique to Addu in the Maldives.

Our stats for this passage are 1090 nautical miles sailed in 202 hours, for an average speed of 5.4 knots - pretty good considering our light conditions.  Interestingly, our knot‑log measured only 976nm through the water, so the current must have pushed us over 100nm!  The GPS says we hit 10 knots as we left the Seychelles and 12.1 knots surfing on our 7th morning.

We woke up to the scent of land and frangipani flowers, palm trees, turquoise water, and White Turns wheeling around the casurina trees.

We plan to only stay here for a couple of days.  We need to buy some diesel, and we'd like to replace our fresh fruits and veggies.  Jon needs to spend some quality time with our masthead wind sensor and maybe change the engine oil but then we should be ready to go.  Our recent GRIBs say that the southwest monsoon is coming to an end and we'll be facing east winds if we don't leave soon.

Fair winds and calm seas -- Jon and Sue Hacking

Up | Ocelot has Leaped | An Ocelot Sailing Day | Southern Hemisphere | Maldives Arrival | Ocelot in the Maldives | Back to the Maldives | Sea of Silk | Shearwaters | Ocelot Arrives

Maldives Home | Maldives Diving | Maldives Cruising Info

Laos Letters | Vietnam Letters | India Letters | Nepal Letters | Indonesia Letters | Malaysia Letters | Thailand Letters | Sri Lanka Letters | Maldives Letters | Chagos Letters | Seychelles Letters | Madagascar Letters | Mayotte Letters | Africa Letters

Top Level: Home | Destinations | Cruising Info | Underwater | Boat Guests | Ocelot | Sue | Jon | Amanda | Chris | Site Map | Make a Comment


The Triton - Nautical News for Captains and Crews
If our information is useful,
you can help by making a donation

Copyright  2000‑2017  Contact: Jon and Sue Hacking -- HackingFamily.com, svOcelot.comAll rights reserved.