14 February 2008

14-Feb-2008 Noon Position

Indian Ocean

  • 130 nm last 24hrs
  • 100 nm to Galle, Sri Lanka
  • 941 nm from Similan Islands, Thailand
  • Winds NE 15-20 knots
  • Seas NE 2-3 feet
We got wind!! Since noon yesterday the winds have picked up and held steady the last 24 hours at 15-20 knots from the NE. Sandpiper has been blazing away at 6 to 7 knots and will not slow down. At 10am we pulled in the jib, and at sunset we double reefed the main to slow down in order not arrive at Galle before sunrise. We made 130nm this last 24 hours, and we could have possibly made 150nm if we had kept all the sails out. Sandpiper really likes a lot of wind. She hardly rolls when she is racing along, making for a very nice ride.

If you look at our position on the Google Earth program you can see that we are 20 miles off the SE coast of Sri Lanka. We have to sail along the coast to the NE side. We are surrounded by ships the closer we get to land since all shipping traveling between the Red Sea and Asia must pass through here. Our C.A.R.D (Marine Radar Detector) has been chirping away for the last 24 hours, showing us what direction the ships are in relation to Sandpiper.

Making an approach to Galle at night is not allowed as the port is closed after sunset for security reasons due to their ongoing civil war with the Tamil Tigers on the north end of of the country. We will be arriving after sunrise tomorrow morning where a navy patrol craft will come out and search the 'Piper to make sure she is safe to enter port. Then we will be on a mooring buoy for the next several days while we explore Sri Lanka.

Our friends on S/V Shiraz are somewhere right behind us and should be pulling in soon after us. We have not seen Steve and Rene since Singapore back in November, so we will have some catching up to do with them as well. They left from Langkawai Malaysia several days after us and have been catching up ever since.

Happy Valentines Days,

Tom and Amy

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