Setting out across the Indian, 2,000 miles to Rodrigues

Date: Aug. 31, 2016, 4 a.m. Position: 12 5.46 S, 96 52.98 E

We are under sail! It feels good to be back out on passage again, after two relaxing weeks on Cocos Keeling. Last night I found a shackle pin on deck at the base of the mast–exactly the kind of thing you never want to see before going offshore. Where did it come from?? I finally found the culprit at the downwind pole hoist. It was an easy fix and I was able to lower the open shackle to the deck and re-connect it. It is a lesson that every shackle on board must be moused with SS seizing wire.

In the pre-dawn hours, Privateer was tugging on her anchor chain in good breezes, signaling she was ready to go. At daybreak I fashioned UHMW wedge supports for the Monitor wind vane brackets and hose clamped the entire assembly to the frame, effectively fusing all the parts together. I am pretty satisfied with the outcome, and I am knocking on wood that this holds for our Indian Ocean crossing. Next I dove over the side and scrubbed the whole bottom of the hull, back to bright blue bottom paint. The fish gathered under me to eat the barnacles as they sifted down through the clear waters. With some sadness, we leave this coral atoll with it’s white powdery sand bottom behind. It’s amazing to be anchored in this turquoise aquarium.

We made one last trip to shore to clip our nails, as it is bad luck to do at sea and forbidden on board. It’ll be at least two more weeks until we can clip them again, so better to start the voyage well-trimmed. Taz ran along the beach and into the surf, and swung in a hammock under the coconut trees. After returning to the boat we ran down the list of all that needs to be done to prepare the boat for the open sea. We’re getting pretty good at it now. Here at Cocos, the transition from enjoying the placid anchorage to heaving through the swells under full sail only takes about ten minutes, so you’d better be prepared. The most amazing thing was that Taz went down for his afternoon nap just before we weighed anchor, and remained sound asleep all the way until we were clear of the atoll, flying along under Monitor vane and out to sea. It was the perfect scenario! It allowed Mom and Dad to give full attention to navigating out the lagoon, hoisting the sails, and setting our course.

Privateer is rolling along at 8 knots on a beam reach, in 18 knots of wind with #2 reef Main, Storm Staysail, and #2 reef Yankee. We leave the Main sheeted loose on a beam reach, almost luffing, and the helm balances out nicely. The Monitor then just acts to keep the boat on course. We’re steering a bit south of the rhumb line to set ourselves up for an Easterly approach to Rodrigues, 2,000 miles distant. The GRIB reports look great, but we’ll see how much they can change.

We’re starting the anticipated 2-week passage on the new moon, so we should enjoy a full moon approach to the Mascarene archipelago. It’ll be a dark first few nights this week. Privateer is looking good, all squared away and ready for sea work. The wind generator is putting out good amperage on the beam reach, charging up our battery bank and keeping us going day and night. The motion is slightly uncomfortable as the swells from the great Southern Ocean roll up from the S, broadside to Privateer on this passage. But we are making great speed and can’t complain for now. Just settling back into the sea routine.

P.S. Just a quick note regarding e-mails: If you are receiving this log to your e-mail inbox, hitting “reply” to the admin@svlogbook address sends your message to the website administrator (our friend Mark on s/v “Tuuletar”) and not to us. You can log onto the website and leave a comment on a log post if you like (visible to all). Otherwise, just send e-mails to our regular Gmail inboxes: and/or We are able to check our emails pretty regularly when we are on shore in this age of iPhones and SIM cards. Mark has forwarded the lost batch of e-mails to us which we have just read. To Bruce & Deb and everyone else that has sent us emails to the admin@svlogbook address, we love to hear from you and will answer you soon! Please keep your comments/e-mails coming.

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