The forecast for the day was pretty bang on with light winds from behind most of the day dying to no wind overnight. Just before breakfast the call was made for our downwind spinnaker aka the parasailor to be hoisted. The parasailor is a very distinctive sail as it has a horizontal slot and wing built into it. We love it but the trouble has been that with the largely stronger trade winds we have experienced we hardly get the chance to hoist it as the winds are just too boisterous for flying such a big sail. Last year we only got it flying in Indonesia towards the end of the year. But this year it’s up early doors!
One of the big advantages of the parasailor is that it reduces rolling considerably. You certainly notice it when it comes down, and the boat starts to roll all over the place. With the winds so light we were mustering a mere 4-5 knots of speed over the ground. Certainly not earth shattering stuff but we are still finding our sea legs so can’t complain too much. Hoisting it takes careful preparation and being we hadn’t hoisted it in a while we took our time; the preparation paid off and it went up nicely. A bit of trimming from time to time and it did its job, flying happily all day.
Some shipping traffic kept us entertained. On-board we have an electronic system known as AIS (Automatic Identification System) which shows ships within the vicinity and more importantly lets 300m long ships know that little Adina at a mere 14m is out there too. The AIS provides various pieces of information such as the name of the ship, how long and wide it is, its speed plus its destination which is always a little interesting. Most importantly it lets you know if you are on a collision course and need to take action. One fuel tanker bound for Singapore was indeed on a collision course with us but the rules of the sea, which in this situation decreed a sailing yacht has right of way, were duly and thankfully complied with. Relief when you have a spinnaker flying! It doesn’t always work as we remember when travelling in New Zealand a year back and being on the bridge of a large ferry talking to the captain who said he saw the right of way rules as ‘steel over GRP’.
Free time was spent reading and researching Sri Lanka plus a few books Susie has bought for our Kindles about other people’s adventures sailing the Indian Ocean. Come the end of the day we always enjoy an alcohol-free sundowner. Games pass the time if the sea state permits and Susie triumphed as Backgammon champion of the day.
Having done a good job all day the parasailor went down at sunset given the wind was due to die and we didn’t fancy dropping it in the dark. A night of motoring ensued.
So a long slow day and we only managed 116 nautical miles. The weather forecast is better for the day ahead. Hopefully we can get the parasailor up again but come night time the wind is due to increase and be directly behind us. That means wing-on-wing sailing and roly seas. Luckily we have a heap of dinners pre-cooked. And the backgammon board is magnetic!