It felt good to be moving on the sea. By morning, the wave speed had slowed down. There was little wind chop, and it was an overall pleasant ride. Wind has varied from 8 knots to 16 knots. What makes it an even nicer ride is that we are running at a normal RPM and speed for a change. Kosmos is happier running in her sweet spot than she is running flat out, the ride is smoother for us, and fuel consumption is much, much better.
We crossed near the 31N by 31E line, which we thought was an interesting numerical moment. We had a beautiful sunset, with the sun especially red.
It is much cooler here. We actually have to shut the windows at night and wear blankets when we sleep. We almost forgot what that was like aboard, since we have been so used to the heat of the tropics and desert.
There has been a ton of traffic on the radio ever since we left Egypt, mostly from warships calling every vessel that pops up on their radar. So far we have heard ships from Canada, NATO, and Israel. We have never heard so many military groups in one place before. The war ships will call a particular boat over and over and over and over until they get a response, which is annoying. For those of you that aren’t boaters, there is radio etiquette. You call, wait 30 seconds for a response, then call a second time if there was no response the first time. If there is no response the second time, you are supposed to wait 5 minutes before you call again. The warships never even waited the 30 seconds in between calls, and sometimes they would call for sixty plus minutes before getting a response, which drove us crazy. We almost turned our radio off, which is what we guessed many other boats had done, and was causing the problem in the first place. Sigh.
Sea conditions were much the same today as yesterday. The warship traffic has died away, only to be replaced by monkey boy wanna-be’s screwing around on the radio, which is disappointing. We had another beautiful sunset.
Right at midnight, we got a DSC distress call. The first thought was it must be a fake, given the timing and the number of people screwing around on the radio. However, it turned out to be a legitimate call, and a voice “mayday” call accompanied it a minute or two later. The mayday was fuzzy, because we were pretty far away (50 nautical miles) for VHF radio. Some other boats were much close. We never got the complete story of what happened. Hopefully everyone involved was ok.
Also at midnight, the waves picked up some. The ride was still good overall, but not quite as nice as when the waves were calmer. We like calm a lot. For most of the wee hours of the morning, someone played music on the radio, completely dominating the airwaves so no one else could use it. It is sad that the radio is so abused here. But, at least we didn’t have to listen to the people screwing around anymore.
In the morning, the radio became quiet, which was wonderful. Around 1400 (2:00 pm), the wind picked up to 18 20 knots on the nose, and, of course, the seas followed suit, moving to the “not pleasant” category. Considering the wind speed, the ride really was not bad, but we have been spoiled by the nice conditions and really wish they would have lasted.
By 2000 (8:00 pm), the wind was up to 25 knots and sea conditions were well into the “uncomfortable” category. Eric got sick. He just does not do well in the head seas. The bad news is that the direction that the wind and waves are coming from means no shelter as we near land.