Wednesday, May 06, 2009

May 5, 2009 - Chagos Crawl, Day 4

We'll take any excuse to make some Mexican food. And conveniently enough, our Sri Lankan avocados ripened just in time to whip up a big bowl of guacamole for Cinco de Mayo.

Tonight, during my watch, we crossed the equator for the third time on this circumnavigation. The first time, in May of 2007, we were heading south to the Galapagos. We opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate. The second time, last November, we were motoring up the South China Sea enroute to Singapore. We celebrated with waffles and mimosas. Maybe we've been out here too long, but our third crossing was almost a non-event. In fact, we both slept right through it . . . oops. I woke up from my nap a few minutes after we crossed the equator only to realize that we were once again in the Southern Hemisphere.

We've had some north-south shipping activity around us, which is very unexpected. There is nothing to our south, other than the US military base at Diego Garcia. This morning, we learned on the radio net that a number of cargo vessels and other ships are avoiding the traditional east-west shipping lanes west of Sri Lanka. Instead, in a bid to keep themselves out of the area of recent pirate activity north of the Seychelles, many ships that are not headed northwest through the Red Sea are heading due south from Sri Lanka, east of the Maldives, until they reach 2 degrees south, before turning west and continuing on to the coast of Africa.

We wanted to thank our readers, particularly Gerry and Sig, for sending us the latest news about piracy in the Seychelles.

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