Friday, February 26, 2010

Freight Train a Runnin' All Night Long

Pacific Ocean
06 37.3S 976 41.9W - 525 miles SW of Galapagos
0700 Report

It was a boisterous night with winds averaging a very steady 19-20 knots. We are steaming along, averaging over 9 knots SOG (speed over ground), and had another very impressive 24 hour run of 217 nm from 6AM - 6AM. I must say that this has been less than comfortable, as a confused sea state is bouncing us around quite a bit, and we are waiting for a bit less wind and a more consistent sea. In his well known world voyaging book, Jimmy Cornell writes of 2 adjacent areas that tend to have these types of conditions, as well as some squally weather. We have not seen a squall in over 24 hours, but we wonder whether the conditions might be associated with the warm and NW flowing Equatorial Current that we have nearly passed through. Cornell writes that one should attempt to avoid these patches of ocean, but they are located back to back of one another and south and west of the Galapagos extending roughly from 3S to 8S and 90W to 108W. There simply is no way to reasonably avoid these zones. Hopefully, this also suggests that conditions will ease as we approach 8S later today - and this will be welcomed by all.

For those interested in the culinary aspect of this voyage, Jo made her famous chicken burritos last night and this was accentuated by Gram's home made salsa. We polished off the brownies for desert and are clearly feeling well enough to eat!

I count at least 6 flying fish on deck today, and no squid. In a bit of erratum, I incorrectly reported yesterday that there was bird poop on deck. I later realized that the black splattering was squid ink (aka squink). Gram reported that a posse of small squid attempted to board us in the middle of the night - one even got into the pilot house. Fortunately, squink cleans up easily, and I do not see any today.

All is well but we look forward to reaching 7something south, and the potential for a respite from these winds and seas. Grib files predict general easing over the next several days, and (ironically) you might find us complaining of too little wind come March 2/3. Such is the life of a sailor! About 550 miles down, and 1396 nm to go.

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