15 March 2008

2008-Mar-15 Noon Position

Arabian Sea
Indian Ocean

  • 99 nm last 24 hrs
  • 68 nm to Salalah, Oman
  • 1358 nm from Uligamu, Maldives
  • Winds N 0 knots
  • Seas F.A.C 0 feet
Greetings from the Big Pond. Not a breath of wind in the last 24 hours, except for this morning when we were able to sail at 2 knots for 15 minutes thanks to a brief breath of wind. Another 24 hours of motoring on a flat glassy ocean.

Still no fish on our lure! As we had hoped, we stayed clear of the drift netters from the previous 24 hours, and have had several ships passing on the starboard horizon this morning.

We talked with Steve and Rene on S/V Shiraz last night on the SSB radio. They had arrived at the anchorage in Oman harbor yesterday morning. We thought that we would be the only boats in the harbor being that it is so late in the season. But just our luck, there are 30 other boats all crammed in the tiny anchorage that are part of a rally coming down the Red Sea from the Med on their way to India. They said that customs had not come out to clear them in yet, and they were not sure how long it was going to take since there are so many boats getting their paperwork in order.

They were also anchored 10 feet from another boat and they have had to re-anchor 6 times already since the holding is so bad. This is not too encouraging for us. We are really done with crowded anchorages after the Darwin to Kupang rally and the poor attitudes of the other boaters that have 'issues' being anchored so close together. The proper anchoring etiquette in a crowded anchorage is to shorten up your anchor scope so your swing circle is smaller. This keeps your boat from smacking into your neighbors when the winds/currents change. Some boaters feel that it is completely appropriate to throw out 300+ feet of chain in a crowded anchorage that is only 20 feet deep. Then they leave to going into town while their boat is causing all kinds of drama swinging around and smacking into everybody else's boats.

Even worse is when they yell at YOU for anchoring too close to them because they have 300 feet of chain out in only 20 feet of water.... morons.

We were going to pull in tonight since the harbor is well marked and it is a major shipping port. But hearing how many boats are already in the tiny anchorage, we have decided to slow down and maybe drift around for awhile tonight so that we arrive at the anchorage after sunrise tomorrow morning. We shut the engine off last night for a short while. It was calmer floating out here in the Big Pond then most anchorages we have been in.

We have still been connecting with Sailmail and getting out our position reports. We access email using our laptop that is connected to our SSB radio via a Pactor Modem. Sailmail is a 'not for profit' company that has radio towers around the world that we can connect to for sending and receiving emails. Its just a chore of finding the perfect times during the day to make a connection. We had expected to lose our Sailmail connection by now as we are so far from the Sailmail transmitting stations. Our connection to Borneo is still working even though our propagation chart that shows the best times and frequencies to make a connection show Borneo with a 25% chance of connecting being that the station is 3491 miles away. There are several other stations, one in the Red Sea, and the other in Africa, that are closer. But they still will not connect. Even when we do get a connection it can take up to 10 minutes just to send one email, depending on the signal strength. What does all this mean?? Nothing. Just my ramblings on Sailmail and how you get this text you are reading.

More after clearing into Oman,
Tom and Amy

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