It wasn’t a calm night. But when we wake up it is a brilliant morning. I haul myself out of bed, out of the cabin, up the stairs and into the sea. I take my morning shower off the back of the boat in gloruious sunhine, with the shower gel spilling into the Indian Ocean. Our food supplies are running a bit short, but we muster a breakfast of scrambled eggs and the last yoghurts. Skipper of the day Ashley briefs us at 10.00 hours and we ready the boat, set off into the bay and hoist the sails. Two hours of man overboard training ensues. Felicity the big round fender is thrown overboard and we take turns hoving to (making the boat remain in the same spot whilst circling on its own accord), going on a broad reach downwind and then coming up to the victim on a close reach. Positioning the boat to pick up the victim on the leeward side, so that you are in between them and the wind, is difficult. But finally I am starting to understand the wind, the water, the sails and the helming. In sailing, everything you do has a reason, and once you experience that reason it becomes apparent how it all fits together.
We tack and jibe some more, Jeff moons us and tells inappropriate jokes, whilst we sun ourselves in bikinis one minute and hunker down in our rain proofs the next behind whatever shelter we can find. The storms here only last 10 minutes, but they are intense.
Then it’s time to head into the marina where Ashley painstakingly manages to get Tamarind into the berth, stern first. We clear out the boat, looking back longingly at it as we depart, and converge at the bar by the SunSail offices for the awards ceremony. We all get a stand-up-shake-hands-and-smile-at-the-camera-moment with Jeff. We talk about joining Hannah and Ashley for their two week catamaran sail in the Ionian Sea next summer.
We share a tuk-tuk to Supalai resort and have dinner together. Nice to see how everyone scrubs up after six days at sea. For the first time in my life I have to send back my dinner, note to self: Panaeng red curry is stupidly hot.
Tomorrow a new part of my journey starts. Night night.