Thursday, February 19, 2015

Leaving Sri Lanka

With our fuel tanks full to the brim and our water tanks bone dry (we didn't want to run our water maker in the polluted waters of Trincomalee Bay), our departure from Sri Lanka still had its drama. The ten or so boats sharing the anchorage with us were incensed that the Port Authority was going to charge us 'port charges' even though our agents had told us that would be the case. Emails, radio chats and boat-to-boat visits were all centered around this outrageous charge of about US$100. Ruthie and I were non-plussed about the idea, after all, the agents had said there would be a charge. This made us a pariah of sorts in our small sailing community. We paid our bill as presented and left on our own.

It felt good to be on the ocean again, even if the first part is just following the coast southwards. The wind filled in from the NE and we unfurled all of the sails - with the flat water, it was nearly perfect except we had the genset running all day in an attempt to fill our empty water tanks. Generally, we prefer to sail under moon-lit skies but it was not our time of the month so we sailed under a terrifically clear sky with a fantastic view of the Milky Way above. I stayed on watch until midnight and Ruthie watched until 0330. The wind died completely and with an adverse current, we were making less than 2 knots SOG so I started the engine. It remains on now, our water tanks almost full again, our batteries topped up but a wary eye is kept on our fuel gauge as it's long way to the Maldives and getting fuel there isn't easy.

For me, Sri Lanka was a mixed bag. Very friendly people, very mediocre food, some interesting sights but nothing jaw-dropping. I'm glad we came but there are several boats in our Indian Ocean Crossing Fleet that are skipping it altogether. Perhaps I'll post a few anecdotes that have stuck in my failing memory.

Less than 600 miles to the Madlives. All is well on board.
At 2/15/2015 7:14 AM (utc) Rutea's position was 08°33.78'N 081°13.70'E

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