Liz and Jamie from Followtheboat face tough conditions on their passage top Pulau Enggano – should they press on or turn back?

sailing-in-rough-weather

Sailing can be one of the most serene of pastimes, skimming across the oceans in a light breeze on gentle undulating seas. But offshore cruising can test your physical, mental and emotional limits. So how far do we push our comfort zone when it comes to sailing in more challenging weather conditions?

Pulau Enggano, the southernmost island off west coast Sumatra, lies battered by the swell in all seasons. We were looking at a 180 nautical mile run to this tiny isolated dot alone in the Indian Ocean.

Strong northwesterlies had been pummelling the Mentawais for the last few days, and were predicted to continue. We had been able to avoid them by hiding behind the islands, but now we needed to get a wiggle on if we were to reach Jakarta before our Indonesian visas expired.

We weighed up the wind speed, duration and strength and calculated that rather than hindering our progress the conditions might actually help…

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