Crossing the Indian Ocean - Mauritius to Durban Days 1-2

durban mileage 1605  

Day 1 Beginning mileage:  1605 nm

No matter how ready we are to leave, we're never really ready till we're casting off the lines. There always seems to be a hectic rush doing all those last minute things that need to get done.

We were up at dawn making Skype calls to family, letting them know we were heading out and wouldn't be calling for a couple of weeks. David washed down the decks as they were filthy with Port Louis dust and grime; then he filled the water tanks. We plugged in everything to charge while we still had shore power...iPads, camera batteries, toothbrush, Davids razor.

I was busy in the galley. Chicken and rice passage soup, a coffee cake, extra rice for a rice salad in a day or two. I sent last minute emails and blog posts and posted on Facebook. Last minute cleaning and trash disposal. We took showers...our last good, hot showers for a couple of weeks.

We walked down to the market to spend our last Mauritian rupees on bread and fruit. We did an excellent job ... not a rupee left. Last, but not least, we headed to the Customs and Immigration office to check out of the country and get our clearance papers for Durban, South Africa. We had one hour to return to the marina and get out of Dodge. We were ready.

We sprung off the dock. David torque-turned Cups in the narrow channel while I coiled lines and stowed fenders.Ten minutes out into the harbor, an alarm went off. The starboard battery was overcharging. We pulled off to the side of the channel, dropped the anchor quickly and killed the engine. David sussed out the problem and corrected it immediately. He'd just equalized the batteries and a switch had been left in the wrong position. We were on our way again within the hour.

The S-SE winds we were expecting ended up being light noserlies ... from the WSW and right on the nose ... just like the swell. We motored for a few hours, frustrated with Neptune's pranks, but there wasn't much we could do about it. By1800, we had cleared the end of the island and the wind was a bit more southerly allowing us a tight point of sail. We were close-hauled,  but at least we were sailing.

We dined on passage soup and Saltines and settled in to our watch schedule.

Day2 Miles to go:  1491 nm (at 10am - 19 hour day)

Not much writing was done after we began our night watches. The wind picked up, the waves grew. We were still close-hauled, hard on the wind. We were heeled over, the starboard rails swallowed up by the sea. First came the slight headache, then the nausea, then seasickness like we'd not experienced in quite awhile. The puking onto the side deck, can't catch your breath, it would be okay to die now kind of seasickness. Nothing stayed down...not water or meds.  We heaved till our stomachs ached and our throats were raw. It was an endless night of long, cold watches accentuated by retching and nausea and dizziness. And then, the night faded into day, the seas calmed, the winds backed to the SE and we regained our sea legs. Another of Neptune's little tests.

As I write, we're both feeling much better, thank you very much. It's always worse when it's happening, and not as bad in retrospect although we'd prefer not to relive it any time soon.

Making slow but forward progress. Hoping to arrive in Durban in time to celebrate Thanksgiving.