Lat: 14 01.85′ N
Long: 59 17.84′ E
Inst Speed: 13.2
Wind Dir: 190
Wind Speed: 8.8999
Distance last 24hr: 98.27
Distance to finish: 621.8

Email from the boat to shore: 

From: OmanTri
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2009 04:31:05 -0000
To: update
Subject: Two trips or just one?

We have some wind. ( for now at least ) we are moving WNW in 6-9 kts of
wind – which feels like a gale. The wind has for a time been from the
direction we were hoping for (signalling being away from the blocking high
pressure system), but now it’s more SSE again – we just have to wait –
everything is pointing towards there being good SW winds as we get to within
180nm of the Oman coast line, and before that the wind should perememently
swing from our current SE round to the SW. The clouds that gathered
overnight are burning off quickly, but it’s yet to truly get hot – like
yesterday – it reached 38 in the shade at times, and the deck was too hot
to walk on.

We had been bemoaning the lack of wildlife in the indian ocean, and on the
route generally, when out in the distance a load of dolphins leapt up out of
the water – jumping clear, just playing around – got some great video, and
if that wasn’t enough a whale ( of some time can’t identifiy it exactly
without a picture book in front of us) came across the bows really close,
swam along before disappearing. Both occourance captured with the video
camera – will try to upload when we can – but satellite reception has been
poor last few days. I am so glad we had these visitors, it really made the
day – and we need something every day to differenciate one day from the

This final leg up the indian ocean really makes it feel like a different
trip to the rest of the round the world journey. I am sure for everyone
following – it’s one long journey that we started on January the 8th that we
are now coming to the end of, but here today it feels like we are coming to
the end of a journey up the indian ocean, the round the world bit is
something we did quite a long time ago – may be finishing around the 4 or
5th of March, as we started to make the turn North. I hope when we arrive
in Muscat that it will feel like the end of one journey – we deserve that to
be the case, but I can’t help thinking that we’ll look back at it all as two
different things – the great time we had sailing round the world, and the
hard work journey up the indian ocean. I hope it doesn’t colour our minds
too much – our immediate recollections of the circumnavigation tainted by
20 days of sailing in less than 10 kts of wind, fighting our way north. 18
days ago we were 3000nm south of our current position – that’s an average of
less than 7 kts of boatspeed, barely 1/2 the average speed for the rest of
the route ( including south bound in the indian ocean). It’s been painfully
slow, and mentally we had prepared to be sitting in Muscat now, and yet we
are still some 605nm away, and we’ll have to sail more than that gybing down
wind to get the best speed. The phrase of the trip ” it could be worse ”
can still be used – but only just.

We all need to finish now, it’s not that we are not happy here, and
certainly it’s not about the overall time – if the race course was 3000nm
longer, we’d probably be perfectly happy, it’s about being so close yet so
far, and with the weather still not doing us any real favours. Sitting here
with the level of zoom on the electronic charts that we have been using most
of the way and seeing the Oman coast stretch out to Ras al Hadd – just 95nm
from Muscat, all on the same page as the symbol representing tough to
sit and watch. If we can get some wind from the right direction today (
and soon ) we could have a DTF of around 350nm by tomorrow’s update. We have
had many ifs, and may bes, so far – this is just another – Keep your
fingers crossed. Keep everything crossed.

Second email from the boat: 

More detailed weather update as we close in on land:

From: Commanders’ Weather
To: Charles Darbyshire , Musandam ,updateoman
Subject: Sur to Muscat
Date: 23/03/2009 13:14:43

To: Charles Darbyshire and the crew of

From: Commanders Weather Corp

Event: sail around the world

Last Position: 15 18n/58 10e at 1215utc Mon, Mar 23

Prepared: 1300utc Monday, March 23, 2009


1) Have you near Sur around 00utc Wed

2) Should be decent wind (SSW) until then

3) Between Sur and Muscat ñ if passing Sur mid to late morning, then can
stay close to shore (within 5 miles) thru the daytime

a) basically, will have sea breezes from around noon-6pm, so decent wind
within 5 miles of shore, probably quite light 5-15 miles offshore, and then
ok around 20 miles offshore

b) flow will become more E within 5 miles of the shore ñ not sure if an
ENE or ESE right now ñ wind speeds 8-15 kts

c) wind, though may be very light SE to S between 5-15 miles out, maybe
under 5 kts

d) then a more S to SE beyond 15 miles offshore around 6-10 kts

4) Early morning, prior to 11am local time, winds will be quite light within
20 miles of the shore, so

want to be offshore more than 20 miles

So, between Sur and Muscat, near shore 11am-6-7pm, but offshore 7pm thru
10am local time

Will have a front approaching Wed night, so will have a SW to W flow Wed
night with the flow tending to clock during the night, especially closer to
Muscat ñ still more SW nearer Sur

Better wind will be offshore 15+ miles

Wind clocks mid to late morning Thurs from the W to NW to NE ñ flow picks up
late morning on

Is this detailed enough for now?

Weather Router’s advice: 

From: Commanders’ Weather
To: Charles Darbyshire , Musandam ,updateoman
Subject: weather
Date: 23/03/2009 12:27:50

To: Charles Darbyshire and the crew of

From: Commanders Weather Corp

Event: sail around the world

Last Position: 15 18n/58 10e at 1215utc Mon, Mar 23

Prepared: 1220utc Monday, March 23, 2009

SummaryÖAre you stopping in Muscat or going further north?

1) High pressure has shifted further E and SE and with you having gone
further west, winds have finally picked up

2) S flow will tend to clock some the rest of today and tonight

3) Decent breeze should hold thru Tues
4) Much lighter wind later Tues night/Wed morning north of Sur

5) Strongest winds likely from 12utc Tues-00utc Wed

6) Will have offshore breeze Tues night/early Wed morning then onshore flow
develops mid to late morning and holds thru the daytime

7) Best wind offshore 15-20 miles at night, nearer shore daytime

Wind directions are TRUE, wind speed in kts, and time is UTC

Mon, Mar 23

18: 180-200/12-17


Tue, Mar 24

00: 180-200/12-18

06: 190-210/13-18

12: 170-190/15-20, near 20N/59 20E

18: 180-200/15-20


Wed, Mar 25

00: 220-240/20-12 lighter wind north of Sur

06: 200-230/ 5-10

12: 070-090/ 8-15 near Muscat

18: 170-190/ 12-6 Muscat


Thurs, Mar 26 – Muscat

00: 240-260/ 6-11

06: bcmg 070-090/ 6-11

12: 040-060/12-17

18: 090-120/10-15
WeatherÖPartly cloudy

Fri, Mar 27

00: 040-060/ 6-11

12: 080-100/11-16

WeatherÖFair to partly cloudy

Best regards, George Caras

Commanders Weather Corp.
Tel: 603-882-6789

A selection of pictures from today: