Friday 20 May 2016

On the water again

I'm sure you all know the song "On the Road Again". You can add your own tune to "On the Water Again". 
It was wonderful to be underway leaving Padang on Wednesday headed for Pagai Selitan island. We started off motoring but soon found an onshore breeze and we were able to sail for a short while. We departed just before noon & hoped to overnight and anchor the next day before dark. I did the 11:30 to 3:30 shift and was able to sail for part of it which was wonderful. The next morning we finally got hold of No Regrets and they had checked the forecast winds and it appeared there would be winds from the northeast to blow us to Cocos Keeling. We checked the GRIB files and saw the same thing so agreed to change our plans & skip the anchorage and head directly to Cocos Keeling. We agreed to meet at the south end of  Pagai Selitan island which we did & I jokingly asked No Regrets where the official BPO start line was for this leg of the BPO. We had been motoring to meet No Regrets as the wind angle was on the nose. Once past the island we were able to sail more west which was the direction to reach the predicted northeast winds. The wind soon died and we were motoring again. On we went in search of the winds only to find that on the next forecast the northeast winds disappeared from the GRIB files. We had wind on & off for the next few days including a 30 knot squall which lasted 30 to 40 minutes. It came up suddenly and we were unable to reduce the main sail which resulted in Maggie healing over significantly. At 8 degrees 20 minutes south we finally got the start of the trade winds at about 3 AM on Monday morning. From then on the trade winds picked up to 24 knots at times. Averaging around 15 to 20 knots. We were sailing at 6 to 8.5 knots with a few squalls bringing the wind up to 25 knots. We arrived in Cocos Keeling on Tuesday with the anchor down at 4:20 pm. 

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