Current In Indian Ocean Changes Route Of RGS’s Circumnavigation

In the Indian Ocean. Photos of the expedition participants
In the Indian Ocean. Photos of the expedition participants

A powerful current in the Indian Ocean forced the crew of the circumnavigation expedition of the Tomsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society to change the previously planned route. The sailboat, moving to the coast of Africa, set a course for the Maldives and on March 11 reached the capital of the island state, Malé.

On March 5, the travelers left the port of Galle in Sri Lanka in the direction of the Gulf of Aden. The next goal of the circumnavigation was initially the port of Djibouti. There were 2,263 miles to go.

“For the first three days, the wind allowed us to move along the course but on the fourth a powerful southwesterly current threw us south towards the Maldives. The next day, a weak northwesterly wind blew which allowed us to slowly move westward. The weather forecast for the next week showed either calm or a headwind from the northwest, we will not be able to break through on sails. In addition, there was a strange sound in the engine. We decided to go to Malé,” said the head of the expedition Evgeny Kovalevsky.

Now the crew has to solve engine problems in order to try to use both sails and the engine on the way to Oman. Covering a distance of 1,400 miles against a headwind is not so easy. The crew also intends to replenish fuel reserves.

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Fuel cans purchased in Malé. Photos of the expedition participants
Fuel cans purchased in Malé. Photos of the expedition participants

On July 1, 2021, Siberian travelers Evgeny Kovalevsky and Stanislav Berezkin set off along the route of the first Russian round-the-world expeditions of the 19th century: Ivan Kruzenshtern’s (1803-1806), Yuri Lisyansky’s (1803-1806), Otto Kotzebue’s (1815-1818, 1823-1826), Vasily Golovnin’s (1817-1819), Fedor Litke’s (1826-1829), Faddey Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev’s (1819-1921). The international project of the Tomsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society "Following the paths of Russian explorers" is dedicated to the 250th birthday anniversary of Krusenstern and the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica by Russian sailors. These events for a long time determined Russia's leadership in the development of the oceans and the discovery of new lands. You can learn more about the project and provide all possible assistance in its implementation on the website of the expedition.