Friday, January 21, 2011

Sri Lanka

Formal dinner at the famous Hill Club on Sri Lanka

Some of the Rally group at the top of Lion Rock, Sri Lanka

Tea covered hillsides

Majestic views on Sri Lanka

Close encounter with the elephants!

What is that behind you Maria?

More of the elephant herd with a 2 week old baby elephant

Elephants bathing and getting a cool dip in the river

Watch out for the elephant crossing the road.

Tea plantation on Sri Lanka

Even the Monks like the view from the top of Lion Rock

Maria getting a massage at the spice plantation. Hugo is making sure it is done correctly!

Monkeys are everywhere!

Maria and Steve from the top of Lion Rock. It was quite a climb!

A big Buddha!

Another big Buddha

More Buddhas everywhere!

Another Rally birthday party! Happy birthday Pete on Fai Tira.

Cycling in Sri Lanka - not for the faint hearted!

Native dancer

Fire walking - hot hot hot!

They really like their fire in Sri Lanka!

Dancers in Kandy, Sri Lanka

Welcome to Sri Lanka! This is on a geophysical company work boat - they must have known captain Steve was coming!

Rescue Tape (red) to the rescue!!!

The captain working to fix the leak

Pounding our way across the Indian Ocean in 30 knots of wind. The horizon is not straight because Aspen is heeling a lot!

Sailing in Thailand

Incredible Thailand sailing vistas

S/Y Aspen – January 21, 2011 – Log #62
Position: 06 degrees 00’ N 080 degrees 13’ E (UTC +5.5 Hours)

It was a really rough passage from Phuket to Sri Lanka. Actually a tropical depression developed on our route as we sailed westward. We only had 35 knot winds which were really bad but the yachts behind us got even worse weather, right on the bow of course!

It took the boats that were behind us 5 extra days to make port due to the nasty conditions. The Indian Ocean is a difficult body of water to sail in!

For us the winds were nasty and the fishing boats were in groups of 50 or more, right in front of us at night, 2 days away from Sri Lanka. It was at this time that we began taking on water. The bilge pump was cycling on and off so it was time to investigate. Captain Steve searched everywhere for the leak and finally opened the engine compartment to see a geyser like Old Faithful erupting from the back of our trusty diesel engine. It was a miracle that the engine had not already stopped.

Working feverishly the illustrious captain uttered several choice words as he was trying to stem the water flow. Luckily he used Rescue Tape that actually lived up to it's name! The water slowed to a trickle and Aspen continued on her way to Sri Lanka.

Arriving in Sri Lanka were were relieved to say the least. The Navy boarded our boat in the harbor before letting us enter the inner harbor where we were berthed against the concrete wharf. Waves of officials inspected Aspen and departed with liquor and t-shirts that they decided they needed as a remembrance!

The engine repairs on Aspen were not going well because there are really no skilled people to work on sailboats. We decided to unwind and take a tour through the countryside to see the real Sri Lanka.

We enjoyed the sights of tea plantations, spice gardens, elephants in the open fields and wading through the river, monkeys crossing the roads everywhere, and the crowded towns along the way.

Then it was back to the boat and the continuing repairs. Captain Steve was becoming more and more frustrated trying to dislodge a critical bolt and literally spent days struggling with it. Once again it was the Rally to the rescue as two of the other captains succeeded in getting the stuck bolt off! Oh happy days, we can really leave Sri Lanka and sail to India!!! We thought we might have to take up residency in Sri Lanka.

Sail on sail on Aspen…

No comments:

Post a Comment