So, having planned to leave at dawn, at 6am when we awoke the wind was still blowing strong. So we went back to sleep until 8am when the storm had passed. After an embarrassing morning stroll around the island (embarrassing ‘cos Kaliya decided to chase the local chickens) we checked out and set of in a fresh breeze to Saudi. A few miles into Saudi we hit a reef. Yup. That was a joint learning curve. Marc had changed the route, and not made that clear, so none of us double checked the route. Secondly, since the reef was near to a shipping channel, I was pondering the South Marker buoy (that we were heading directly to from the North) wondering why there was a buoy there, slightly offset from the channel. It never occurred to me to get the binoculars and check out for the two triangles on top of it! Oops, lesson learnt.
The rain poured on us. Given that it only rains for about five days on average in a year (usually in November and March), we were not in the least bit surprised that it rained pretty much every day for the week before we set off – in May. Nor were we surprised that it rained as we left – Marc decided Kuwait was crying to see us go. I was a little surprised, though, that when we finally decided to raise the main to give the dust a final wash off, it stopped. That’s not true, we fully expected it to stop before cleaning the sails. That was the only time we actually raised the main. Since we have such an awesome genoa (foresail), we rarely actually raise the main. Partly because it’s a pain to hoist it, partly because it only gives us an extra half knot or so, but mainly because we’d have to unclip the hammocks in order to do so.
Anyway, uneventful day from then on. No barrels struck this time (we did hit on on a passage from Bahrain a few years ago, since they are generally unlit and hard to see with the glare of the flares.
Oh, I nearly forgot. Sadly, the gas connection to the galley didn’t work, so we had to barbeque for the entire trip down. Shame, cos I follow the AMerican law which states quite clearly that women cook in the kitchen – and men cook on the BBQ. These were good shrimps! I’ll miss them!