The passage from BIOT/Chagos was the fourth passage of over one thousand nautical miles which we have completed double-handed. Not that it’s anything to shout about and we still plan to recruit an extra hand to help with the ocean passages we have coming up next year.
We left in the company of Kevin and Jacqui on TinTin – we’ve ended up by pure chance sailing together for 10 weeks now. It’s always good to have company and we have spent a lot of time dealing with the delights and challenges of the Indian Ocean together. With light winds forecast and the fact we don’t carry enough fuel to motor one thousand nautical miles we sailed south to find the trade winds before heading back towards the Seychelles.
It was very much a passage of two halves; some of the first half was very slow going in light winds and we spent one day ghosting along at two to three knots – slow but we were moving without using diesel and stuck at it. We’ve been very impressed with our new North Sails laminate sails. With our old dacron sails we would need at least ten knots of wind to get moving when sailing downwind but with our lighter North Sails we could still easily sail in seven to eight knots of wind. The second half of the passage we had good winds and some days positively zoomed along. Squalls, lightening and quite often a sloppy sea state caused by swell from the south provided the odd fly in the ointment. All in all we averaged six knots for the passage.
Our fishing record of catching fish on each long passage is still intact. We cast our lines out two days from the Seychelles. It was touch and go as the Seychelles fish didn’t fancy the Maldivian lures but a Vanuatu lure on the last day was too much to resist and in came two nice tuna.
Seven and a half days on and we could see the island of Mahe all lit up, glowing out from the horizon as we approached at night. A couple of deep black squalls make it trickier, rolling in and blotting out Mahe. We dropped the anchor shortly before midnight and went to sleep. We woke to see TinTin next to us and we both cleared in easily. With it being a Saturday the officials were certainly in a rush to do the paperwork and I think broke the record the Maldivians had for fastest clearance.
Adina is now safely berthed in Angelfish Bayside Marina. The new owner Graham Gower gave us a very warm welcome, showed us around and promptly took us to a craft brewery for the afternoon!
So for us it is now party time. First up we are off for a few days in a small hotel in the interior – birthday treat for Susie. And then good friends Charlie and Nicola Beausire join us for a week. Two days after they depart the Senior Plumes are flying over for their annual check up on us. It’s always great having guests and we treat it as a break and ensure we enjoy ourselves too. The Seychelles is reputed to have some of the best beaches in the world and the wildlife is meant to be pretty special too. Time for some fun!