Baringo departed Uligan island in the northern Maldives on Saturday 12th February heading north to Karachi as the safest route to avoid the pirates. We are in company with 5 other boats who have decided to take this route. Several other yachts have gone directly across to Salalah, and others have decided to put their yachts on transport ships to the Mediterranean. One skipper did the direct crossing single handed! Pirate avoidance strategies were from one extreme to the other it seemed.
We sailed between 40 -100 miles off the coast of India and the wind was reasonable for the first 3 days although we were close hauled. Then it became very strong with the accompanying large seas for 36 hours and as always this was tiring for us and Baringo, but luckily we all held up without any major breakages. We discovered en route that Karachi Harbour dues were US$450 and the yacht club commodore could not waive them even though we had reciprocal membership there through the RHKYC. So we had to find somewhere else.
Our new destination was now Muscat, Oman, but we all kept heading North close to the Indian coast rather than a more direct route. Despite the windward sailing being difficult and frustrating at times it was preferable to a pirate attack. We passed Mumbai wondering about a stop for fuel but without an Indian visa this could have been complicated although 2 members of the group did stop at a fishing village further south and managed to refuel and provision without any problem.
So far equipment has behaved but we still have no generator (wind or diesel ) but the engine is charging the batteries and we are getting more experienced at managing our power supply and demand. The water maker is wonderful although it did stop working one night … don’t these things always happen in the dark … but it was only an air lock as the light of day revealed.
Further north the wind direction became more favourable and we had some good sailing in the right direction with a calm sea. We learnt of the fate of Quest which is a horrible tragedy and rather closer to home from here than was desirable especially as we had originally been with their group but we dont know if Quest was on the route recommended by the Blue water rally or had chosen their own.
The total journey from Uligan to Muscat is 1,537 miles but we are now only 240 miles from Muscat where we are hoping the comforts of a nice marina await us as they will certainly be appreciated. Luckily I had seriously over-provisioned – a lesson learnt from past experience but we are really digging deep into long forgotten food as the
journey has been considerably longer than expected.
I hope we can add our photos if we get to Muscat and have internet access so do keep reading!