It is with trepidation that the crew of Spirit of Cardiff face the next leg; 1,250 miles of Indian Ocean and no fuel barge in sight!

It is with trepidation that the crew of Spirit of Cardiff face the next leg; 1,250 miles of Indian Ocean and no fuel barge in sight! Clive Tully reports:

Today’s the first full day of our crossing of the Indian Ocean, at 1,250 miles, the longest leg of the entire round the world voyage. Fuel consumption is critical on this leg, as we’re at the absolute limit of the boat’s range, with little margin for error.

In fact, the first 250 miles from Salalah saw us consume 700 litres of diesel, which works out at 2.8 litres per mile – rather more than the 2 litres per mile we have to average. But at the moment we’re not worried. The boat is extra heavy with all the fuel and provisions at the moment. As the fuel burns off, the boat becomes lighter, using the remaining fuel far more efficiently. We’ve done big crossings before, and the way to work it is budget speed against fuel consumption. If we’re using too much, we simply have to slow down in order to guarantee our arrival in port.

After the previous couple of day’s swelter in the cabin, we’d put in an emergency request to Salalah for some drawing pins. Now the cabin has the appearance of some downmarket boudoir, our towels tacked across the windows. It looks makeshift, but it does the job brilliantly, keeping the blazing sun at bay, and the cabin cool and shady.

Whilst we’ve all suffered from Delhi Belly to an extent over the last couple of days, my attack has been rather more prolonged and vicious. But at least I’ve got the hang (oops!) of going off the back of the boat, crouching on the edge of the dive platform. I’ve even done away with the toilet paper, preferring to use our shower hose to finish off Arab style. Appropriately enough, my horoscope for today says “there is a breeze around Uranus”!

Whilst the boat is moving comparatively slowly – around 15 knots in flat seas – it’s a good time to catch up on a few maintenance tasks. So Alan Priddy and Steve Lloyd have given the Treadmaster covering on the deck a good scrub down to remove three weeks’ worth of accumulated mildew. More importantly, Alan has managed to complete modifications to the autopilot, so we can sit back and let the boat drive itself again.