Ron & Joanne left Pensacola, FL in the winter of 2005 on their Antares Miss Jody to circumnavigate the world. In February 2011, Ron, with another crew member, sailed from Uligamu, Maldives to Yemen and into the Red Sea through some of the world’s most active pirate region. Below are some excerpts from his log.

Day
Destination
Total Miles
Miles Today
Miles to Go
Speed
Wind
Course
1
Salalah, Oman
1292
150
1142
6.5k motor sail
8k NNE
294°
2
   
138
1004
6k motor
5k NNE
294°
3
   
153
851
6k motor
10k SE
294°
4
   
138
615
6k motor
8k SE
294°
5
   
160
553
6k motor sail
10k E
294°
6
   
141
412
6.5k motor sail
10k N
304°
7
Abandon Salalah dest.
 
153
259
7k sail
15k NNE
304°
8
Al Mukalla, Yemen
1550
151
319
6.5k motor sail
12k ENE
256°
9
   
135
189
5.2k motor
5k NE
252°
10
   
137
52
6.2k motor
2k NE
296°
11
   
52
0
     

Day 1 – Feb 9, 2011

The first day was very pleasant. We sailed most of the time in light wind from the NE. Seas 2-4ft from the north. Our formation worked reasonable well. During the dark of the night a large wooden boat motored between us. He had no running lights or working lights. The last boat in our group saw him pass. So much for being stealth. ETA 2/16 maybe.

Day 2 – Feb 10, 2011

Another very pleasant day. Lots of sunshine, small amount of wind in the afternoon and no wind 20 of the 24 hours. We have 0.6k of current against us. The most exciting thing yesterday was Emmanuel’s foredeck baby stay broke at the mast fitting. Clint climbed his 80 ft. mast, strapped a section of spectra rope to the mast and reconnected the stay. All this done while we are sailing in 3ft sea. The boy has some guts!! We had another ship in the night. This was a big one. He had no AIS signal, we tracked him on the radar, doing 20k on our reciprocal course. We passed within 8 miles. This morning the sea is calm, 6 k of wind from the NE.

Day 3 – Feb 11, 2011

Nice day, minimum action. We sailed during the afternoon, wind at 14k from the East, spinnaker reach for 3 hours. Looked good felt good. The wind died and shifted to the sw during the night at 12k, on our tail. We saw two ships on the AIS, 25 miles to the north. No one had problems yesterday.

Day 4 – Feb 12, 2011

Another nice easy day, wind and sea light and on the stern, engine on for 24 hours. The run solenoid on the starboard engine needed adjusting. I struggled with the task for several minutes, then Jules was able to get his hands and eyes in the correct place and accomplish the adjustment. Jules claimed he was not a mechanic…he is now. We sailed in .5 mile formation successfully last night for the first time. We passed a group of seven cruisers last night 10 miles south of us. They left the Maldives 24 hours ahead of us and included several smaller boats. We are almost one half way there. ETA Feb 16,ie 8 days. The weather man says we have one more day of light easterly the shifting to the NNE. We have seen several cargo ships, some on AIS and a few more on radar with no AIS signal.

Day 5 – Feb 13, 2011

Another nice day in paradise, we motor sailed all day and night with the Screecher, which gave us about 2K. We had several “scares” last night with boats appearing on the radar moving in our general direction. Reminds me of the Caribbean 10 years ago when every fisherman you saw you knew it was a pirate—NO pirates–same here so far.

Day 6 – Feb 14, 2011

Yesterday was one of the most action filled easy days I have experienced in a long time.

The wind filled in and we had a great sail until noon with the screecher in a following breeze. The wind shifted to the NE and we carried the main and the jib until this morning. We motored 2 hours to maintain a 6K minimum speed. We had a big moon from 9PM until 2PM. Then the stars came out. You could see the Southern Cross and the North Star and Polaris and shooting stars all at the same time. What a show.

Then the excitement began about 4 AM. First a 140 ft cargo shipped appeared on our AIS[a tracking device with the ability to receive a radio transmitted signal from another vessel’s AIS, which in turn tells you the ship position, speed, type of cargo, size of vessel and name AND how close she will pass to you and how much time before the passing.] Her course would result in passing 2.5 miles to our stern. We tracked her until she was in radio range, I called her, she changed course to pass 5 miles to our stern. One of our boats was lagging 2 miles behind, he managed to catch up before the ship arrived. While this was going on a second ship appeared on my AIS. She was 1160ft long and 185 ft wide, and projected to cross our bow at a distance of 1.5 miles. Too Close. She answered my VHF radio calls when she came closer, she acknowledged or presence, but held her course. We slowed down to give more clearance and she passed 2.0 miles on our bow. Technology is an amazing thing.

You had to be here to enjoy it. No bad guys.

Day 9 – Feb 17, 2011

24 hours of motoring in a flat sea. We made the turn away from the IRTC corridor at 2300 last night to Al Mukalla, Yemen and the Middle Eastern part of Asia. Another part of the great adventure. We have seen no activity except for continuous passage of commercial ships through the IRTC. We had a UKMTO helicopter fly over us two times yesterday to ask if we had seen any suspicious activity. Apparently the international forces concentrate on the IRTC area to keep it clean of any “suspicious activity”. We picked up a .5K of current when we headed north last night. This will help us arrive in Al Mukulla by mid-afternoon today. Emmanuel is .5 miles behind us. We plan to stay in Mukulla for 2-4 days then head for Aden, Yemen near the east end of the Gulf of Aden.

Day 11 – Feb 19, 2011

We arrived in Al Mukalla at 1400 local time or 1100 UTC. The port captain directed us to anchor in the “New” harbor. An agent, Maher Nasserkhamis Badakhen, came to the boat shortly after the anchor was down to check us in. I completed one form, signed 8 others, gave them our passports and that was it. Complete check in 15 minutes. They return our passports when we are ready to leave. Maher took or order for purchase of 580 L of diesel. He is to return this morning to bring our shore pass for 3 days. Maher told us not to go to the city, 2 miles away, except in the morning. He said there was “trouble” in the city. We are defiantly in the Middle East. The shore looks like a lunar landscape. No vegetation anywhere, structures made of cement and clay. Last evening we had sun downers on Emmanuel, told each other how great we were and how brave we were. In bed by 8PM and slept 12 hours.

We will stay here another day then head for Aden, Yemen. 300 miles down the road closer to the Red Sea. Emmanuel has ordered parts for their boat to be shipped there. While preparing this report we experienced the greatest danger we have seen in a long time. A local 50 ft. fishing boat comes around the sea wall entrance to the harbor and comes within 15 feet of ramming us in the beam. He comes to a stop just in time.

During our passage of 1550 miles, 9 days and 5 hours, we ran the engine 188 hours or 85% of the time!! Some of the time was motor sail, some just motor with no wind. Average speed 7K. We burned 150 gal of our 180 gal inventory of diesel.

Link here to read the previous excerpt from Ron and Joanne’s trip in Thailand.

Link here to read the next summary of the Atlantic crossing from the Canary Isles to Antigua.

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