“The yacht always performed very well: she’s very balanced, easy to handle and she always gave us a feeling of safety.” declared Skipper Fabio on arrival in Cape Town on Christmas Eve.
Here, APSARAS stops for a while. The crew returns home for the Christmas break, and then gets down to work on the sails and the boat, ensuring she is sound before departing for the next stop on their trip.
Early April – Cape Town:
Captain Becattini and his crew carry out a thorough check of the boat and of the course that they will be following for the next month.
And they’re off: it’s five in the morning. The forecast is good. APSARAS leaves Cape Town.
With a favourable wind, she sets off on a broad reach for the Mozambique Channel.
Here, she is met by very strong adverse currents of around 7 knots. In the following days, the weather conditions remain fair and stable, with winds of around 10 knots. APSARAS sails on to Madagascar at a speed of around 13-14 knots.
She stops off at the Island of Nosy Be, where her owner and his guests spend a few days.
End of April – APSARAS sets sail again, headed for the Seychelles, Indian Ocean:
APSARAS sails for three days in ideal conditions, alternating between a close reach and a beam reach, hitting average speeds of more than 10 knots. Here, she navigates through crystal clear waters. “It really feels like we are in the midst of paradise on earth, in a totally untouched world,” the captain tells us.
The only companions for APSARAS are fish, and the odd boat. Sailing along in a light breeze of around 6 knots, the captain takes advantage of the fair conditions, throwing a lure off the stern to entertain the guests. And indeed, not even ten minutes pass before one of the rods begins to bend. Just behind the boat, a huge fish emerges, keeping the owner of APSARAS occupied. All the guests shout for joy, and have fun trying to bring in their massive catch, which the captain is already imagining in the oven!
In the evening, a great party is thrown, with champagne and Italian culinary delicacies, served to celebrate the great event.
Early May. APSARAS arrives at Mahè and stops in a sheltered bay:
The following day, guests go ashore to Victoria, the capital of Mahè, located on the northeastern side of the island. It is the only city in the Seychelles, named in honour of Queen Victoria.
A trip to the market. This daily market is mostly frequented on Saturday mornings, when it gets extremely busy. Here, shoppers can buy fish, spices and exotic fruit. The colours of the fruit is incredible, and its intoxicating scent fills the air. Here, the crew top up on water, food and fuel.
The next day, a visit to the St. Anne Marine National Park is on the agenda. Snorkelling among fish and sea turtles. The guests enjoy nature, and indulge in some relaxation. Not many boats cross this area, and when they do, they tend to be travelling in the opposite direction.
Life here is very much focused within the exclusive resorts.
In the following days, APSARAS travels to Praslin, Curieuse and La Digue, where the islanders get around by bike.
These are the last days of good weather, and change is in the air – the big rains are about to come. The month of May draws to an end.
The owner of APSARAS and his guests leave the ship. APSARAS must now make haste towards SRI LANKA, where she will need to be equipped with extra safety equipment ahead of the arrival of the summer typhoons. The sails are hoisted, and the crew head for GALLE.
Wind at around 25 knots. Rough seas. APSARAS has nearly 2,000 miles ahead of her, with worsening weather conditions. Heavy rains are forecast.
APSARAS arrives in Galle in Sri Lanka right after some intense typhoons that left great damage behind them. The South-West monsoon is here and will last until October. Not to take any risk, Captain Becattini decides not to stop and to anticipate the arrival in Thailand. APSARAS sets sail towards Phuket, passing through the Bay of Bengal.
In difficult weather conditions with a favourable strong South-Western wind, APSARAS sails with full mainsail and an A2 gennaker and arrives in Phuket in 4 days.
APSARAS will stay in Phuket until September waiting for the return of her owner and his guests.
She will then sail towards Andaman Islands, an archipelago of around 204 islands located in the Indian Ocean south of the Bay of Bengal.
In the first days of October the boat will sail back to Phuket.
NEXT PORTS OF CALL IN 2017:
• In September APSARAS will sail towards Andaman Islands, an archipelago of around 204 islands located in the Indian Ocean south of the Bay of Bengal.
• In the first days of October the boat will sail back to Phuket (Thailand).
• Mid-October in a shipyard in Langakawi (Malaysia) to get the boat ready for Phuket King’s Cup Regatta 2017 in the first days of December.
PORTS OF CALL IN 2018:
• Malaysia and then Indonesia, and on to Australia.
• Passage towards New Zealand and from there to Chile.
• APSARAS will sail up the Pacific Coast of the Americas from south to north, as far as Vancouver in Canada and then back towards Hawaii, the Marshall Islands and Japan, ending her long voyage in Hong Kong.