Half Way Round…..Departure – Cocos to Chagos Archipelago

Half Way Round…..

25 September 2012 (Eastern Hemisphere)

Dear F&F,

The weather ahead was my concern yesterday. There was a system of weak low pressure cells along our route. For the most part, these were knocking the wind speed down so much, we might not be able to sail very effectively. I have more diesel fuel aboard that at any time in the history of \”Beach House\” sailing, but don\’t want to see how much of it I can use. Topping off at Cocos Island was $2.42/liter or $9.15/gallon!

The World ARC Rally (which Cindy and I last saw in Bora Bora two years ago) has caught up to us again. About 7 of the boats arrived yesterday and that with the improving weather told me it was time to move on. \”Fidelis\” (a Morgan 45 like my Dad had), pulled out as well to head to Rodriguez Island off the SE of Madagascar.

The seas are a bit big at 3-3.5 meters, but not too much \”sea\” so it\’s okay. We\’re still getting our sea legs, but with the reefed main and full genoa on the pole to port, we\’re zipping along in 18-22 knots of wind.

An old Riddle: \”How far can you run into the Forest?\”….. Answer: \”Half way, because the other half is out\”…..

And that indeed is where I find myself today. Since Cindy and I left Bahia Herradura, Costa Rica, \”Beach House\” has now sailed just about exactly half way round the world.

This is a big ocean and we\’re trying to do it in bites. The two big bites are from Cocos to Chagos and Chagos to Madagascar. I expect the sail to take about 9 days and our permit will allow us to stay up to a month. I doubt we\’ll stay that long, but it\’s nice nonetheless. Chagos is supposed to be like the world was thousands of years ago. Pristine white sand beaches on almost untouched atolls, lagoons teaming with fish. Hope it\’s true.

For those of you who have asked about Pirate territory you\’ll be happy to know! First, I contacted NATO\’s marine force for Piracy in the Indian Ocean. They told me that our journey would be \”out of high risk areas\” with all the usual disclaimers of course. Second, we learned from someone in the Piracy Watch/Prevention industry, that there has been know incidents south of Chagos as well as several hundred miles to the West. When we leave for Madagascar, we will be heading Southwest, skirting away from even the remote areas. The naval forces are apparently quite active throughout the entire Western Indian Ocean and it\’s paying off. They are even flying unmanned drones out of the Seychelles to keep an eye on things. It seems the marine version of this awful business is getting more and more shut down. Apparently, it\’s now easier to kidnap westerners in resorts in Kenya and Tanzania. Still not good, but better for us. So have no fears, all is well and thought out.

1467 miles to go! KIT, position reports and blogs daily. (First position report tomorrow) Scott and Sleeping Nikki