- One day past Nicobar Islands we encountered the first squall exceeding 40 knots. This did not force us to change course.
- Encountered the large squall from the SW that lasted hours and forced us to begin moving NW. (Sorry; I realize that #1 and #2 are not shown on this close-up image.)
- Hove-to for the first time and contacted Commanders Weather.
- Point where we broke free from the LOW for the first time; then were able to tack towards SE tip of Sri Lanka.
- Encountered strong westerly winds (40+ knots) when approximately 43 NM from SE tip of Sri Lanka; turned south hoping wind would abate.
- Heaved-to for less than an hour (So frustrating to be only 35 NM from tip of Sri Lanka and not be able to get there!); then hit very hard with strong wind and forced to ride with the storm for next 10 hours.
- Reached the eye wall and were turned NW. Continued several hours and broke out of the LOW for the second time.
- Turned south as per instruction from "Dick" at Commanders Weather and soon again encountered 40+ knots of wind. Turned around and fled north.
- Reached calmer winds farther north and heaved-to for almost 24 hours, drifting mostly westerly while hove-to.
- The following afternoon as soon as winds showed a hint of NNE (5 degrees), we sailed south towards that same waypoint on the SE tip of Sri Lanka. Reached it in calm conditions on this fourth attempt and turned west beneath the island headed to Galle. Calm conditions all the way to port because the LOW had now moved much farther south and west to the Maldives, where it dissipated.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Our circuitous route
Here is an enlarged image of of the difficult part of our track for the passage from Phuket to Sri Lanka when we were repeatedly locked inside the LOW. The red numbers are explained below. The shipwreck icon indicates approximate waypoint where S/V Bachas was abandoned and crew rescued by passing cargo ship Maersk Europa. Only the degrees and minutes were reported in the distress call. We did not get the seconds so the waypoint is not exact. We were between points 6 and 7 at the time S/V Bachas was abandoned.