Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Lost at sea: sailing log part 3

The second week of the expedition was only marginally easier than the first. Following the rough weather of the first week, we have been motor-sailing towards Mauritius with some beautiful sunny skies as the wind has not been fully with us and we had some time to make up. We saw the biggest pod of blue whales I have ever seen (actually the only pod I have ever seen) and it adopted Indigo as a new member of the clan coming alongside at less than 50 meters. A little scary but beautiful. Of course every single camera on board had flat batteries...
We succeeded to do some great sampling, while trying to avoid poking the whales. We only just stopped sampling before entering  the french territorial waters of ‘La Reunion’. We had some tough night waiting for breeze or wishing the breeze would abate! But we made quick progress towards Mauritius and soon have seen our first coconut floating in the water.

The Indian Ocean was not going to let us go without one last challenge. On our last night at sea, we battled through 25 knots of breeze and 5 meters swells and had to slow down to avoid getting airborne. Moreover being back close to civilization has its downfalls: we had to dodge ships all night long...
So, as much as we would have liked to be sipping martinis in Port Louis, we had still a few miles to cover. And then the predicted wind just didn’t show up in time and we were just about out of fuel.

We finally made it to Mauritius on the 12th June, shaken but not stirred. The first leg of the expedition is done and everybody has a full head of memories that will pass on for generations to come... (or at least a few months).

A next load of fresh sailing scientist will descend onto Mauritius in a few weeks time, so keep coming back for further updates or go and see the dedicated blog (IndigoV).


In full sampling mode


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