Beneath the Subcontinent

Sophie is now just 235 south of India as we leave Sri Lanka behind us and enter the Lakshadweep Sea. I thought I knew the names of all of the bodies of water we would transit on this passage until “Lakshadweep Sea” popped up on the chart. Lakshadweep. It just rolls of your tongue, doesn’t it?

We had our best sailing day of the passage yesterday, averaging 8-10 current-aided knots for most of the day in bright sunshine with minimal seas. Our noon-noon run was 164 miles, but that doesn’t take into account our 15 mile dash south across the shipping lanes and the fact that we stopped twice for fish.

Sophie’s current position at 3:52 UTC +7 is 05 04.104n, 080 11.725e. We are sailing at 7 knots under jib and full main on a course of 277m with a 9 knot apparent wind on our starboard quarter. With the exception of our jog across the highway, we have been on the same tack for almost a week. We are 403 miles from Male and should arrive there in 2 days.

We had a yellowfin tuna double takedown yesterday morning, where Nic and Travis boated fish simultaneously off the two rods, each trolling a small hoochie. These fellows were 4 and 5 pounds respectively, and they no longer exist. Jenna made sushi for lunch and the remainder was pan seared for dinner. We stopped fishing after the takedown because of our boatspeed, because I didn’t want to clean any more fish, and because I wanted to take a nap. I now wonder if some sort or temporary insanity came over me. Jenna was even asking me if I felt alright. I’ve gotten over it now, and 5 small hoochies are going out at sunrise.

We started seeing fishing boats yesterday for the first time on the passage about 70 miles south of Sri Lanka. On three separate occasions a boat stopped what they were doing when they saw us, changed course, and headed in our direction with their entire crew yelling and waving their arms at us. These boats were all about 30 feet long with a deep draft. We had heard stories of cruising sailboats last year that were harassed by Sri Lanka fishermen, and we wanted no part of that action. I am sure they were all just being bored and curious, but we just smiled and waved back at them as we turned the motors on and motorsailed past them at 10.5 knots. Given their draft, they couldn’t match our speed and in each case soon went back to work. We’ve seen another 10 fishing boats this evening, but at night they are leaving us alone.

There has been a lot of Yahtzee action in the aft cockpit for the last couple of days. It’s been too breezy back there for cards or board games. It has been a lot of fun, and we are holding off on doing Yahtzee shots until our big beautiful Rocna anchor is buried in sand.

We still don’t know the results of the NFL playoff games this weekend. We know the Patriots were beating Kansas City 14-6 at halftime, and my mother vaguely mentioned on the satphone that they had won “20 something to something.” A friend (and you know who you are) promised to send us via Sailmail all of the game scores plus a couple of the New England game stories, but he has gone dark on us. I hope he is not in the hospital or stranded on some backcountry Montana mountainside, trying to rub two sticks together in order to make a fire in a desperate attempt to survive in the cold and desolate wilderness.

But enough of my first world problems. In two days we will be swimming in crystal-clear water in some palm-studded atoll. Life is grand.

2 thoughts on “Beneath the Subcontinent

  1. Could have used some tuna while I sat watching the last game in the Bierstube here in Whitefish, MT. I have 10 emails of cut and pastes that have all gone undeliverable on the games. Very odd that I could send a half time score yesterday (with no team guidance) and nothing today. Too bad it is snowing lightly and all the tracks I made today will be filled in and I have make them again tomorrow. Have to work on this snail sail mail system.

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