Thursday, January 20, 2011

India Ocean and Bay of Bengal?

SY Aspen and crew coming into Tipperary Waters Marina, Darwin, Australia

S/Y Aspen – January 6, 2011 – Log #61
Position: 07 degrees 08’ N 089 degrees 39’ E (UTC +7.0 Hours)

So where are the Indians, the Sioux, Arapahoe, Shoshone? I see no buffalo, no tepees. I don't hear the echo of drums in the distance. Bay of Bengal? Ha! So where are these tigers?

All around us is only water. The occasional dolphin and passage of a violent squall with threatening bolts of lightning interrupt the solitude that engulfs us as we sail further westward.

When we are sailing across the oceans of the world we have had time to reflect on a lot of things, as long as we are not repairing some part that has broken on Aspen of course! This passage across part of the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal is no different.

The storms we have had for the past three nights has set off a spark and allowed me to reflect about the passage of our lives so far away from home.

One of my perceptions of Maria is that of a nurse, continually helping others so that they might live a healthy life. To me that is pretty amazing. As I sit here looking at the rope burn on my hand, the torn skin on my other hand from the winch and the bruises on Maria from being thrown around the boat I wonder if we both could use a little tender loving care? Ah but we will heal with time.

I think back to the Leadville Trail 100 mile race. That race has defined my life for 28 years and last year I was at sea, missing it. Yet even now I can recall the distant sound from a solitary Indian drum greeting me a short distance down the trail every year in the pre-morning darkness at that race. I also jubilantly appreciated that same drumbeat as I approached the finish line of that exhausting race so many times in the darkness. For an individual to remain hidden in the forest, sitting in solitude, with only a drumbeat to communicate their appreciation of my accomplishment is very noble and very much appreciated as I now have time to reflect on that event out here on the sea.

We should make landfall in the country of Sri Lanka in about 5 days and two weeks after that, Cochin, India. Once we leave India some strange things are going to happen. Our blog will still go out but there will be no position data given. The reason for the secrecy is probably apparent to most of you - pirates. Not the Arrrrrrh pirates of the Caribbean but the all too real nasty pirates from Africa and the Middle East.

Our goal is to get Aspen to the country of Djibouti and past the pirate areas safely. Hmmm, what wild tales await us!

The photo is Aspen coming into Tipperary Waters marina in Darwin, Australia. It was taken by Sheila on Miss Tippy, a Rally boat.

Sail on sail on Aspen…


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  2. Hello, Steve and Maria! I'm happy to hear you arrived safely in Sri Lanka. I miss you two and the other rally folks a lot. I think about your adventure often and can't wait to get out there.

    Yvonne and I are fine and she's working again, teaching handicapped people to drive. I'm teaching a sailing class and serving as president of our local sailing club.

    Please give our greetings to all and best wishes through Pirate Alley. You will be fine.