We left Phuket on the 5th January at midday with 20 knots directly from stern and although we could sail we had a soft ride all day. The wind easy off during the night and it looked we were set for a reasonable passage.
As the day progressed the state of the sea changed and did not reflect the wind conditions we were experiencing but it has happened before and the weather predictions were 15-20 knots NNE
Squally conditions started to develop with a wind change from the SW with gusts of 30 knots. We crossed the Nicobar Islands at midnight through the Sombrero Channel.
The Nicobar Island belongs to India at lay south of the Andaman’s Group. They are out of bound for any visitors, so the natives are totally isolated from the rest of the world.
We were doing good progress and although we motor-sailed for most of the time our projected arrival to Galle was by day seven.
The squalls were increasing and some of them had wind gusts that went from 15 knots to 45 knots within seconds and only lasted for 15 minutes.
We put 3 reefs in our main and reduced the Genoa to 50% and dance the Tango all night as the wind kept changing from South to SW to West.
By this time we were sailing along with yachts Bionic, Natibou and Moonbeam and trying to understand the strange weather we were experiencing.
The day progressed as the previous day but with more rain. It is hard to explain the volume of rain but everything started to get wet and it was hard to keep of the rain that at times was falling horizontally.
Visiting birds started to arrived and made the cockpit home for the next 3 days
Dragon flies and large moths also arrived by the dozens.
We were running low in fuel and it was going to be tight to get to Galle particularly when the wind was now on the nose and pushing 3 meter seas. By mid-afternoon and 120 miles out Galle the weather deteriorated rapidly and gale force winds were the menu for the next 2 days.
I turned north looking for a lee shore and possibly a way to Trincomalee, a port on the NE of Sri Lanka in an area dominated by the Tamils during the civil war.
.Once night arrived and making little progress , decided to leave the boat to it own and went to sleep and rest.
The boat drifted north- westerly but the wind should have blown us east which was were confusing.
The weather reports were even more confusing as the positing the center of the low at different locations and moving in different directions.
The wind consistently blew on high 40,s all day.
Our screecher partially unrolled and exploded making an incredible noise and shredded to ribbons within a short time wrapping itself around the rigging.
Suddenly the wind stopped and got half an hour of a break that allowed me to drop the wrecked sail and lashed it on deck. Soon after the wind hit again with the same force and realize that we went through the center of the storm.
We decided to sail south-west as the other yacht were much further south and were experiencing good weather.
Our fuel was low and mainly kept for the gen set or emergency to keep away from commercial ships
At midday I picked up on AIS and decided to try my luck and ask if they could sale me some diesel. After a short while I was contacted by the tug skipper and agreed to give me fuel.
When the tug came to visual range I saw that it was not going to be easy as it had a big barge in tow and the sea was still rough.
We went alongside and their fuel nozzle was too big so the offered transfer by Jerry can.
To my surprise the tug skipper neither did nor wants to take any money when we asked.
Alas there good people in this world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We sailed further south-west seeking more sea and late in the afternoon the wind died and the sea was calm.
Allah heard my wishes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And then on the ninth day we rested
Still wary we rested
With no wind we motored toward Galle
We arrived to Galle at 02.00 am and having prohibited night entry we drifted 4 miles out from the fair-weather buoy and slept a few hours.
We had a call from the Sri Lanka navy as asked the normal generic questions still paranoid about the war I guess.
We went through the check in formalities in the morning and a step back to colonial times.