19 February 2010

Indian Ocean

February 10 we leave the Maldives and our heading for the moment is the harbour of Solalah in Oman. There are 14-20 knots from NE, but the sea is very unsettled, so life on board is not comfortable. In the night there are big and dark clouds but not a drop of rain, although 'Alexandra' can use a good flush. We make excellent progress. The Indian Ocean is big and empty, just a distant trader now and then. All at once there is a pod of about 30 dolphins next to he boat. They are racing and jumping to catch up with the bow, always great fun! And alomost every evening there is a slow and colourfull sunset.

After a week on the high seas we are hailed by a warship of the coalition forces and we give our destination and ship's data. We have entered the area where pirates have their field of activity. If we should see anything suspect we are requested to report position etc. to one of the warships. But it stays very quiet around us and also the wind is dying out, so we have to start the engine.

Once under the coast of Oman we decide to proceed to Yemen because of the crowded harbour of Solalah. Both on the day as by night we hear regularly via the VHF the communication between the ocean going traders and tankers and the warships. As soon as a captain has spotted a suspect vessel or has a suspicion of a pirate mothership, he'll report that to one of the warships and they mostly send out a plane to investigate more close. We hear two times of an attempt to board a tanker and also then there is a lot of ommunicationa and action. Till now not one of the attempts to hijack has been successfull. The suspect 'skifs' are mostly seen in the traffic routes for the ocean going trade and they are 80 nm south of us. Along the coast of Yemen we come across some fishermen and an odd small trader.

Slideshow Indian Ocean