29 February 2008

2008-Feb-29 Noon Position

Indian Ocean

  • 102 nm last 24hrs
  • 88 nm to Maldive Islands
  • 351 nm from Sri Lanka
  • Winds E 10 knots
  • Seas 1 foot E
The weather has moderated nicely the last 24 hours and we are now plugging along at 4 knots with just the main up and the wind right behind us. We sailed all night with the main double reefed and the stay sail out in light winds to slow down our approach to Uligamu Island. We are anticipating arrival at first light and will keep adjusting speed to make this happen. As of now we need an average of 4 knots or less. Anything faster and we will arrive while its still dark. It is always a little tricky to estimate landfall for a following morning when we are more than a hundred miles offshore. We do not know what the winds are going to do overnight. If they increase, then we have to start dropping all the sails.

One causality of all the rolling around the other night was that we heeled over so far to port when a wave hit us it pushed seawater right up the exhaust and into the gensets engine. When I checked the genset yesterday to run it I noticed sea water dripping out the dip stick tube. Uh Oh! I spent this morning draining out all the water/oil mixture and then flushing in new oil. I did this 3 times and ran it on the 3rd oil fill for an hour. I think one more oil change when we are at anchor tomorrow and she will be back to normal. Good thing we bought 2 jugs of oil before we left Thailand! I have worried about this happening before and think I will install a valve on the exhaust hose so I can close it when the weather gets rough. Same for the main engine.

We had this happen once before on the main engine on our 10 day sail from Bora Bora to Nuie when seawater filled up the exhaust. Thankfully it never entered the engine. It just made it a bit hard to start with an exhaust full of seawater. Now we run the genset and engine every 24 hours so this will not happen, and this hopefully will keep any seawater from accumulating in the exhaust. Even running these every day the genset took on a lot of water. I have to believe that is was because of the large waves smacking Sandpiper's starboard side (where the exhaust is located) at the same time we took a hard roll to port, causing sea water to flow in. Just my 20 cents worth from the middle of the Indian Ocean.

We should be at the pass into Ihavandiffulu Atoll, Maldive Islands Northern Group at sunrise, then anchor off Uligamu Island along with SV Shiraz where we will check in with customs and immigration. As of 1800h last night SV Shiraz had flown ahead of us with all the wind we have been having and are now 40 miles north of us.

More after we get anchored,
Tom and Amy

Note From Ron: Genset = their stand alone electrical generator. It allows them to charge the batteries without having to run the main motor.

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