Milestone: Bab El Mandeb

All of 9,950nm since leaving Sydney we’ve now entered the Red Sea. Just to buck the trend, we don’t have strong winds and big seas. We can’t talk about surfing big waves doing 9 knots. We are motoring, it is dead calm and the sea is flat. We’re sticking to the median strip of the ship lanes (Traffic Separation Scheme) and the main challenge is to stay awake. There’s a couple of ships around, but they’re well spaced and stick to the middle of their respective lanes. It is. It very taxing?

Position 12° 33.479′ N 43° 26.262′ E
COG 310T
SOG 6.0kt

Lat 12.557983: Lon 43.437700

Flying towards Bab El Mandeb

We always knew we were up for a bit of headwind initially, and so it was. Northerlies up to 20 kt saw us hard on the wind, tacking into the Gulf of Aden for a couple of hours in most un-cruiserlike fashion. As the wind veered to the north-east we waited until we were sure we could lay the line to Bab El Mandeb, avoiding the islands on the west coast. Tacked and found we had about 30 degrees in hand so shook out the reef in the main and eased sheets for a nice close reach. We now have 15 knots on the beam(true angle) and making a consistent boat speed of 7.5 knots. The head current is meant to abate and then turn with us as we enter the Strait.

Position 12° 01.572′ N 43° 37.966′ E
COG 346T
SOG 6.5kt

Lat 12.026200: Lon 43.632767