Crossing the Indian Ocean - Mauritius to Durban Days 11 &12

Durban days 11-12  

Day 11 Miles to go:  644 nm

So, you've got to ask yourself, what else can go wrong on Nine of Cups' infamous passage across the Indian Ocean? We certainly have been giving that question some thought ... between repairs. We didn't have to wait long before we had an answer. As David was taking a reef out of the main, the port reefing winch parted from the boom. I had the camera ready for another reason, but the "oh, shit!" look on his face as the winch came off in his hand was a true Kodak moment. Surely, Neptune is rolling on the ocean floor and getting his jollies about this one. David was able to re-attach it and it will be fine till we reach Africa. In the meantime, the repair/maintenance to-do list for Durban is lengthening much faster than we're sailing at the moment.

Rippled grey skies have been with us for several days now. Terns and white-tailed tropic birds wing by every once in awhile, mostly at dawn and dusk. They're noisy and announce their presence rather loudly, but so far none have stopped off for a rest or a chat.

And what's this? Winds, albeit light, in our direction with a helping current? It can't be ... We are gob-smacked!  Despite the change in winds and a little overnight motoring,  it all came too late to help our daily mileage ...  a whopping 68  nm.

A carton of milk evidently tipped over in the fridge unbeknownst to us until the sour stench about knocked me off my heels when I went to get milk for tea this morning. It's an effort to unload the fridge underway, but the stench-incentive made it a necessity. We got it all handled, washed out and wiped down with vinegar and re-stowed and did an inventory as well. I really need to use up those limes I bought in Mauritius.

Day 12 Miles to go:  546 nm

There's a two hour time change between Mauritius and South Africa which we haven't bothered with yet. The sun is rising closer to 0700 now and, correspondingly, setting later in the day which is kind of nice. The skies have been clear and sunny with nary a cloud to be seen in the pale blue sky ... sort of like daylight savings time. The barometer has been rising slowly and steadily. Unfortunately the winds have remained light, except when they're on the nose! The current forecast calls for another day of light winds, then stronger winds from the west ... our intended direction.

The crossing of the Mozambique Channel has been and continues to be a slow one. I look at the chart plotter at the beginning of each watch and it seems we've barely moved at all ... because, of course, we haven't barely moved at all. These usually lazy sailors are grasping at any wisp of wind that blows by.

We've been doing lots of reading and writing. David's working on a promised article for Good Old Boat. In addition to the passage blogs, I've been working on our holiday newsletter and have started an outline for a new book. We're staying out of trouble, but getting a bit antsy to get into port and start whittling down the to-do list which, if you've been following along, is getting rather unmanageable.

We've given up hope of getting to Durban by Thanksgiving. Now, we're hoping we make it by Christmas.