First Day

Indian Ocean 330 NM from Uligan, The Maldives

An incredible morning! Two dolphins came aside as we were setting some lines. We didn’t notice them until one started to click at us. We looked over, and nearly jumped out of our shoes! He was just sitting there, making time with the boat, with his head out of the water, seemingly waiting for us to take note of its presence. We did, and he and his mate raced to the front of the boat. We followed. They paced themselves there for a moment, and then one of them took off around to the back of the boat, re-appearing after a lap. He nudged the other one, and that one took off, also did a complete lap around the boat, returned, nudged his mate, and the process continued. It was an aquatic game of tag, or a two-person relay race. We were flabbergasted! They left then, we thought, but then we saw them racing pell-mell towards Leander’s side. At the last moment, one of them dove, and the OTHER ONE JUMPED OUT OF THE WATER, CLEARING LEANDER’s BOW, right over our heads. We wiped the sprayed water from our faces, and watched them circle, and then, DO IT AGAIN! We couldn’t believe it! Were they escapees from Sea World? Do dolphins naturally do this type of thing?

The last though, was completely over the top. We have a round inflatable fender that is loosely tied at the back. We thought that they had finally departed, but, before we could react, one of the two had worked the buoy loose, and it was floating away. What a dirty trick, we thought, but were a bit too stunned to react. But then, we saw the buoy leap out of the air, with a dolphins nose having propelled it skyward. We watched it arc back toward the ocean, but before it landed -Bop! – the other one caught it in mid-air, and they then began to volley it back and forth. Incredible! When they seemed to tire of this, or realized that we had seen it all, they gracefully flipped it back aboard, it landing with a wet bounce just between us. They then swam away for good, but not before a last turn and a few clicks.

We could swear that we heard one of them click “Happy April 1st!”

Our first day has been OK. We like a start that is straight-forward, with a gentle wind off our our beam, and calm seas. Not in the cards this time.

We are having to beat to the Maldives, at least for the first couple of days, maybe the entire way there. Winds are coming out of the west, and that is where we are going. We’ll make some giant v’s towards our goal. But at least we are sailing, and not having to motor.

And Leander is doing just fine. We’re getting our sea legs after a day of sitting around and reading, and looking forward to making progress.

The Maldives will just be a pit stop before the long haul to the Gulf of Aden. It would be nice if some of these winds stuck around, although perhaps from a better direction.

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