At 8.30am local time Adina slipped lines and left Ao Po marina on the east coast of Phuket, Thailand, bound for Galle, Sri Lanka, 1120 nautical miles away. The night before we were kindly treated to dinner by Mike Kefford of sailing yacht Tashi Delek, a great friend and one of those true gentlemen in life. We met Mike and his wife Carol in the Galapagos when walking up a volcano. Mike was passing in the opposite direction, pointed at Tom and said “Now there’s a sailor”. It still amuses us to this day. We’ve bumped into Tashi Delek numerous times and enjoyed some wonderful experiences together, most recently around Phuket. Mike came down to help slip our lines. It was sad to say goodbye but it also felt good to have a trusted friend see us on our way.
There wasn’t much time to relax as waiting outside the marina was a photographer in a RIB ready to take pictures of our brand spanking new North Sails. So it was all hands on deck and get the full set of sails going – main sail, genoa and staysail. It was upwind sailing and Adina was soon blasting through the water, we could hardy catch our breath. Thirty minutes later the job was done and five minutes later the wind promptly died so we found ourselves plodding south along the east coast of Phuket before turning due west towards Sri Lanka. It felt strange looking back as Thailand disappeared, not to be wandering into a Thai restaurant for the evening and choosing something spicy or not so spicy. Constipation is simply not a problem in Thailand!
The light winds came and went as we nursed Adina out into the Bay of Bengal carefully watching our new sails in action. There’s been some intensive hard work since new year getting Adina ready but she is, touch wood, looking the part and behaving well and we are pleased with all we’ve achieved. Now out at sea with no shore power, we are pleased to see the solar panels we installed working well, easing the pressure on our diesel generator.
So now our thoughts turn to Sri Lanka and the guide book is out. Once we check-in at Galle, we’ll move to be based in Mirissa a little way along the south coast. Adina will be on a private pontoon with electricity and security and we can go backpacking!
Back in the real world the winds dropped off and we motored through much of a full moon night. Our rule has always been to take it easy on the first day, let our bodies acclimatise and slowly discover our sea legs. In fact light winds on the first day help ease you into life at sea. Our first night’s meal has always been Chilli Con Carne, no logical reason why, it’s just become a tradition and Susie had spiced it up this time, no doubt the effect of our stay in Thailand.
We operate in shifts at night time based primarily around how our own body clocks work; Tom wakes at first light while Susie is happy to sleep on at dawn so we work back from that. It’s three hours on, three hours off from 9pm to 9am. During the day we’re both awake but if either of us wants a nap we’re free to take it as we please.
At 4am some winds came back and we are now slowly sailing. The log says 121 nautical miles for the first 24 hours. Light winds are forecast for most of the day ahead but we’re not too troubled as better winds are forecast later in the week. Simply a nice way to ease into life at sea.