22nd February 2010
Captain Saleh Al Jabri
I’m learning how Omanis over a thousand years ago managed to cross the Indian Ocean on cleverly designed but simple ships
Last night and today have been the best sailing days of the voyage with steady winds between 15 and 19 knots. In the past twelve hours we’ve covered more than 40 nautical miles so we’re making good progress. The ship is doing well and staying dry in the bilges. At this point we’re dealing with two issues.
First, the Jewel has two quarter rudders on either side of the ship and a median rudder at the stern. This ancient system is quite interesting and we are experimenting with different ways to use the rudders most efficiently.
Second, we noticed that the mizzen mast was flexing quite a bit toward the top when the winds exceed 16 knots. To ensure we operate safely in such winds we decide to replace the existing sail with a much smaller one that won’t put as much pressure on the mast. It was a challenge to put up the new sail in choppy seas, but after over an hour of hard work by the crew, the sail is in place and working fine.
We now plan to move a bit more to the east with the hope of catching the northerly trade winds soon. In the meantime, I’m very pleased with the crew. We’re all tired, but everyone is learning and helping each other with the many tasks required to keep this ship sailing well.
For me personally, this is really an amazing experience. I’m learning how Omanis over a thousand years ago managed to cross the Indian Ocean on cleverly designed but simple ships.