After a long, and often frustrating stint in Langkawi, we finally pushed off to Sumatra at around 11AM on the 14th. For the first say there wasn’t much wind and it was drizzling steadily, but everyone was still happy to be heading off.
Everyone is settling in to life on board and so far everything is smooth. Each person cooks dinner every 4th day and we’re splitting watch in to 3 3-hours shifts (I take one, Jesse takes one, and Nigel and Annie share one). My first night I did the 3am to 6am shift, and while I was sitting at the helm a blue flying fish landed right in my lap. I killed it with my flashlight and fed it to the cat but she was too seasick to actually eat.
The second night the engine severely overheated and it was looking pretty dire. If we couldn’t get it fixed we would be adrift with no wind in one of the busiest shipping channels in the world. Luckily it was just a broken V-belt and Jesse was able to fix it. All the oil was fried so we had to change that as well but the whole set back was only about 2 hours. I’m glad our captain is prepared and had extra belts on board! Otherwise the whole trip would have had a serious set back.
We now have our first 60 hours at sea under the belt and we’re currently rounding the tip of Sumatra off of Palau Weh (close enough for me to get cell reception and make this post!). For our first two days we successfully stayed in the wind shadow and spent about 85% of the time motoring. This evening we got out of that shadow and have had steady 30 knot winds, our first serious sailing as a team. We had the genoa out for the first stretch but the wind got too strong so right now we’re sailing with two reefs in the main and the stay sail. In a couple more days we’ll be posted up at a tropical island with world class point breaks, but until then we’re rocking and rolling (literally), pushing forward at about 7.5 knots.