Passage: Krakatoa to Cocos

We set sail from Krakatoa for Cocos Keeling on the morning of the 20th. Cocos Keeling is a tiny atoll that lies in the Indian Ocean 635 miles to the southwest of Krakatoa. Its part of Australia and has a population of about 600. We were sailing right in to the trade winds, which typically come from the southeast, but for our first day of sailing they were steady out of the south at around 20 knots.

We sailed very fast and did 199 miles in our first 24 hours. On the afternoon of our second day at sea Jesse caught a huge wahoo on the line hed been towing. The fish was beautiful and delicious, something youd pay $30 a plate for at a restaurant back in the states. The first night we had baked fillets, fish omelettes for breakfast the second day, and I made fish curry for dinner that night. Salty even for some fresh sashimi which she promptly barfed up.

On the morning of the 22nd, our third day at sea, the winds calmed down for the first time to 10-15 knots and shifted a bit more to the east. I had just finished the 6-9am watch so was lying down, but everyone else was up top and put up the spinner. About 10 minutes after it went up it caught, presumably on the spreader, and ripped all the way down one of the seams. I heard a lot of cursing and ran up top and the entire sail was floating in the water next to the boat. We all hauled it back on to the boat and stowed it away. Its a $5,000 sail so even if its repairable its going to be an expensive event. Also no more spinnaker runs on this trip which is a bummer.

On the night of the 22nd a front moved in and the winds blew between 30-50 knots for the entire night and the next day, our heaviest weather yet. We had been switching back and forth between the wind vane and the autopilot but Jesse was using the autopilot during the 9-midnight watch when the mount for the autopilot broke. We had to use the wind vane and hand steer for the rest of the way which made watches very active and in my opinion fun. On my last two watches I got squalls over 50 knots several times, very exhilarating and just a little bit scary.

Around 5:30pm on the 23rd we came in to the lagoon at Cocos with the winds still blowing 40 knots. We had to go over a shallow reef that got to 9 feet at its shallowest, the draft of Obelisk is 7.5 feet. That night we ate pasta and drank whiskey, it was a great passage and everyone was happy to be on anchor. Well go through customs at some point tomorrow and then explore the islands.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *