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Fire Adventure
(bike across Canada)

Water Adventure
(sail 'round the world)

Earth Adventure
(backpack the Andes)

Air Adventure
(to be determined)

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Painting a white line across a big, blue canvas Previous Log
Date: 11 October 2008 Next Log
Indian Ocean > 16° 41' South, 80° 23' East Log Menu


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I can't believe I ate the whole thing!The sky is black. The water is blacker. Great walls of water, crashing all around us, lifting the boat high in the air, pushing it forward in powerful surges, then releasing us to fall back down again. The skies have opened up and rain is pouring down. The wind is howling in our ears. Where are we? Which direction are we going? How fast are we actually going?

We are in the middle of the Indian Ocean, our course is 270 degrees (West), we are going directly downwind, and if there is still any doubt, we are moving very, very fast.

The Sushi Bar is now open! The reigning Iron Chef serves up something fresh.The tricky thing about sailing in a storm in the dead of night is learning how to not suffer from vertigo. When the stars are blacked out, you can only steer by the compass, and as you fly through the water at 12 knots, no matter how hard you try to stay on course, inevitably you will feel the sensation that the boat is veering off course. Dizziness often starts to set in and the struggle to steer a straight path gets tougher and tougher.

In reality, you'll probably doing a whole lot better than you think. Relax and breathe. Long deep breaths. Trust the compass. And it's probably best not to look up.

The lights from the instruments display all kinds of data for you to take into consideration - apparent wind Tomfoolery - The weekly shower is a big event for all on board.speed, apparent wind angle, true wind speed and angle, magnetic heading, course over ground, speed through the water, speed over ground, cross-track error, distance to waypoint, bearing to waypoint, the list goes on and on - and they cast eerie green and red glows around the cockpit. There is a light on the top of the mast, and otherwise, that's all you can see. We have the main sail reefed twice and the genoa poled out on the opposite side but they are just grey blobs hovering above you.

You can barely see your hands and the wheel they are grasping, but you spin it anyway to maneuver down a wave face, then grope around for the centre spoke to return to course. The boat is lively however, and she responds to every ounce of pressure you exert on her wheel, carving and slicing her way through the wild, black seas.

Catch of the Day - A beautiful Mahi-Mahi on its way to the galley.The noise is incredible. It sounds like the boat is ready to become airborne. As the boat accelerates down the waves, there is an unmistakable roar - and you can usually tell exactly how fast the boat is going by this sound. As we approach 15 knots, it becomes more of a hum. We managed to set the boat's new speed record of 18.5 knots (34 km/h through the water) one evening and the sound was bordering on terrifying.

The Indian Ocean has reminded me that a sea voyage is as much art as it is adventure. By applying skills learned by study and practice, sailing is the conscious arrangement of forms (sails) and movements (steering) in a medium (a big, blue ocean) that affects the sense of beauty. The white line we leave behind is a perfect expression of freedom and movement - on a canvas thousands of miles wide.

Snorkeling in Christmas Island
Photo: Cody Reed
Coral of Christmas Island
Photo: Cody Reed
Beware the Red Crabs!
The Swarm begins..
Mid Ocean Racing
Head-to-head with Ruby.
Picnic on Direction Island, Cocos-Keeling
Zach, Clive, Miriam
Capt Andreas at the helm
Just givin' er. Photo: Zach Wood
Miriam at the helm
Zach at the helm
Go man, Go!
Cody at the helm
You want me to eat WHAT?!
Well... okay, here goes!
How bad could a raw flying fish be anyway?
Oh no! What have I done?!
And now for an encore?
Clive at the helm
Rough seas into Rodrigues
Rolling into Roddy
Veggie Market in Rodrigues
Waterfront in Mauritius
Camping in Mauritius
There are no official campsites on the entire island... official ones anyway! Alex, Clive, Miriam
:: Inukshuk ::

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