Kumbaya

Heading for the Cape of Good Hope

Kumbaya is one of the longest-standing contributors to the Postcards section of your favourite magazine. It’s been three years already! The trip around the world continues: Juliette, Hubert and their four children have arrived in Mauritius.

Who: Juliette, Hubert & their 4 children: Louise, Agathe, Paul, Bertille
Where: Crossing the Indian Ocean
Multihull: Nautitech Open 46
YouTube: @levoyagedekumbaya125
Since we set off across the Indian Ocean, we’ve been enjoying fairly calm conditions - no more than 20 knots of wind downwind and a nice long comfortable swell. Life is getting back to normal on board, with the rhythm of watches, meals, naps and school. Last night, during the watch, I checked the sails as I do every 20 minutes. I looked up and discovered, against the darkness, that the mainsail had a strange shape. I finally noticed, to my horror, that the canvas had torn across its entire width. A seam had given way. It’s repairable but it’s complicated at sea. We would need to try and fix it on Cocos Keeling. Or Mauritius. We were forced to sail under a reduced mainsail, but we still have the new gennaker. This minor damage raises questions, as the sail was overhauled in New Zealand. It seemed tidy and fit to last. Fortunately, we’re beginning to become resilient when it comes to damage. And we carried on regardless. The atmosphere on board remained Zen and the conditions were still calm. We arrived at Cocos Keeling, a remote atoll 1,200 miles from Australia, of which it is a territory, and 2,200 miles from Mauritius. Dark blue, turquoise, little or no signal, white sand and coconut palms. Two deserted islands, school in the morning, then snorkeling with turtles. Then lunch and in the afternoon a different vibe, with wingfoil for the parents, beach for the kids and a thousand and one other activities until it’s time for drinks before a good night’s sleep... And tomorrow? Well, tomorrow we’ll start all over again, until there’s a window for our next Indian Ocean passage. In the meantime, life here is gentle and the days leisurely but we always keep busy. A final snorkeling trip drifting through a pretty inlet swept us away with its 6-knot current. We set off again in the direction of Rodrigues. We were expecting complicated sailing, heavy swell from Antarctica and fearsome depressions, but in the end, it turned out to be the best crossing we’d ever made. With our damaged sail, it took us 12 days, averaging 7 knots, which raised our round the world average by two tenths of a knot.

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