The ocean resumes its huge expanse
It´s benign and suggests no duel
We motor along beneath cloudy skies
We hope we can purchase more fuel

But it´s good to be back on the water
It´s cooler and feels safe as well
And there´s plenty of interest with ships to dodge
As we roll side to side on the swell

On our second day out the wind appears
And moves from west to north
We sail along at over eight knots
No need for an engine henceforth?

But that of course was a naive hope
When the wind drops out at night
We´re motoring under a headsail
And hope the fuel´s all right

The next day it´s even calmer
The sea is a ripple of glass
Which reflects the silver flying fish
As they do their skip-fly pass

Young dolphins come over to wish us good night
And exude their sense of vigour
They´re absurdly energetic
Will they still be when they´re bigger?

We reach the Maldives at 9 am
We must wait til 2 for clearance
Five men arrive with umpteen forms
And Susie must watch her appearance

Ulingan is small and is fringed by reef
There´s a white sandy beach all around
For only four hundred inhabitants
More remoteness could hardly be found

But they´re planning to build a hotel here
Construction´s already begun
The island will change,dramatically
What price for tourism fun?

We´re off on the long stretch to Oman
It´ll take us about nine days
Twelve hundred and fifty miles to go
A routine and patience pays

With a thousand nautical miles to go
We can´t get the engine to kick
Phil radios jump start instructions
To Impulsive´s fledgling mechanic
(Who is showing modest signs of improvement)

Now the wind has settled down into a slot
Please let it stay there for ever
And the grib files show that we seem to be clear
Of some potentially nasty weather

It stayed for a day ,but of course not for ever
It moved round towards north west
Not right on the nose but not far off
And not conducive to rest

It´s our fourth day out and we´re feeling tired
But we´re almost half way there
We´re coaxing it back towards north again
So Impulsive can show some more flair

It did come back to the north that night
And under a three quarter moon
We sailed back up to the rhumb line
We don´t want to end this too soon

But we have some equipment problems
First the auto pilot fails
The inverter and water-maker then stop
Why not stick to old-fashioned sails?

The sails do the job,for the wind stays up
And we barrel along north north west
Phil´s trying to get some fuel to Cool Change
The rendezvous could be a test

This morning the sea is so dapple-calm
That the massive setting moon
Reflects like a bolt of lightning
Must we get to Salalah so soon?

Now we´re the only boat on the ocean
In the centre of a huge blue disc
There´s a cool breeze wafting down from the bow
It´s serene and there´s no sense of risk

So with just a bit under two days to go
We´re happy and feeling up-beat
Perhaps it relates to our viewing last night
Of the charming film Happy Feet

We reach Salalah on our ninth day out
With a sense of relief and pleasure
There´s a list of jobs(and sleep)to do
Then Dubai for five days of leisure.

MARCH 2008