Sri Lankan surprise!

We departed from Nai Harn bay on the SW coast of Phuket at 2.00pm Sunday 16th January intending to sail to the Maldives. It was good weather with a good wind from the NE so at last we had some pleasant sailing .The TTT rally is fairly loosely connected at this stage but we had a radio sked every morning with the other boats which is always reassuring .The route goes south of the Nicobar Islands and then due west. Several boats decided to stop in Galle so we decided to join them as we were passing the door and had enough time before the departure from the Maldives .It seemed a more interesting place to spend time and we hoped it would provide better provisioning .The passage was great fun and only 7 days with strong winds from the NE 25-30kts with some rough seas 2-3 m swell but we had great sailing and good speeds for us 8-9kts .We only had one night of storms which most of the rest of the fleet missed but compared to the Malacca straits they were short lived. The moon was the brightest we have ever seen so the night sailing was magical. One problem we had was that one of the mast track screws came out partially which meant we could not drop the mail sail as the car could not pass over the protruding screw .Luckily the offending screw was quite low down and we could put in 2 reefs which fortunately was all we needed to do for the moment (we hoped ) .We then had to wait for a period of relative calm to go up the mast and tighten the screw and for this we had to wait 2 days .A calm window finally arrived and Julia went up (for the first time ) all went well but it might have been a different story if the errant screw had been at the very top of the mast .
All the mast track screws will now need to be checked but in the calm of the port.
We sighted Sri Lanka 23.1.2011 at 4.45pm and the sailed very slowly up the coast to arrive in Galle at dawn .The entry process done by the Sri Lankan navy is long and complex. It took us some time to find a suitable berth for the boat as there are so many yachts here but we finally ended up attached to a very flimsy floating blue plastic pontoon from the starboard stern with another long port stern line to the harbour wall and the anchor from the bow. A bottle of wine and a few cans of beer later and minus 200$US we had our shore passes and had finished by5.00pm.The authorities were all pleasant and humorous and the experience was not as bad as we had been led to believe .It remains to be seen if this surprise visit was a good decision or not ! Lets hope so and certainly so far so good.

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2 Responses to Sri Lankan surprise!

  1. Josephine Davies says:

    Good news. I love reading of your progress. You are in our thoughts.

  2. Richard Winter says:

    wow, waiting 2 days for a screw – must be a first….!

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