Although checking in to Sri Lanka was unpleasant, checking out was quick and efficient with no bribes solicited. We left Galle Harbor before noon under cloudy skies and light wind.
Within a few hours we noticed an increasing smell of diesel and set out to find the source. We are carrying thirty five gallons on deck in jerry jugs, and none of them appeared to be leaking. We suspected the injector pump that we had just rebuilt in Sri Lanka, but it was not leaking. Bud looked at all the visible possibilities, and he could not find the leak.
Meanwhile, the wind and seas were increasing, and we were both half seasick from the fumes. The wind increased to 28 knots, and we were down to a double-reefed main and staysail, and we felt miserable.
Our new radar and AIS performed beautifully. During our first night, we had as many as 72 targets on our AIS at one time, and we had to make only two minor course changes to avoid ships. Ironically, we recognized many of the ships’ names as cement carriers that had been in Galle while were there. Seems Sri Lanka is bringing its cement in from India. Our radar was not yet calibrated, and we had not yet connected our GPS to it, so it was somewhat limited in the data it provided. However, it detected targets near and far and showed them clearly. But neither of us felt up to spend much time below learning our new equipment.
The wind and seas calmed on our second day and night, and we needed to run our engine. However, that increased the smell of diesel. We still could not find the source. But we did motor some, and we continued to feel poorly as some seasickness persisted. Fortunately, at times we had as much as 2 ½ knots of current going with us, so we were making good progress (we covered 171 miles in our second 24 hours). And our AIS count decreased from 72 to 0-2 through most of the second night.
Winds and seas were even lighter on our third day and night, and they went aft making it impossible for us to sail. Now we had to motor, and the fumes were becoming increasingly difficult to tolerate. The smell below decks was strong enough that we stayed in the cockpit. However, even in the cockpit, we were still both struggling with some seasickness. But we motored on with little on our minds other than getting in and finding/repairing this problem.
We arrived in the Maldives 72 hours after leaving Sri Lanka. We covered 450 miles in 72 hours for an average speed of 6.25; however, we had current with us most of the way helping boost our speed over ground.
We were greeted by a pod of dolphins, but all we could think about was letting the engine cool so we could find the leak. This had been a long three days.
And, no, we did not take any pictures on this passage. We were both far too miserable.