Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mexico to Galapagos - Day 12

[Mar 13]

Total Distance: 993 nm
24 hr Distance: 93 nm
Distance to go: 809 nm
Lat/Long: 09°34.18'N / 99°42.93'W

A short note about the numbers above... The total and 24 hour distances are actual nautical miles (similar to statute miles) travelled over the ground. This is not the "Distance Made Good" or DMG, which is the distance travelled as the crow flies. Most people would use DMG...but I'm not. WHY? Well...mostly because the GPS gives us distance travelled, so it is a no-brainer, plus, the greater distance has some satisfaction associated with it! :o) John calculates and records the DMG on our paper chart, so we have both numbers. It is interesting to compare. Especially in recent days where we've done a lot of drifting!! The distance to go, on the other hand, is the actual straight line distance from our position to our final destination of San Christobal Island, in the Galapagos Archipelago (I know it is the furthest away - but it is where we need to check into the country)! The LAT/LONG position is our position at noon on the given day.

Now...about today. Well, it is our friend Michael's 40th birthday!! Hurray!! Wish we could be there to share a cocktail with you!!

And it was a great day for us out here. Late last night, the wind picked up, and we had a fabulous sail all night and all day today. We were even able to sail on an easterly course, putting us closer to our intended course. For the last few days, we were drifting further and further west, and it looked like we'd have trouble getting upwind to the Galapagos!! And of course, since our moods are directly correlated to wind conditions, we were both pleased as punch to be out here sailing. Don Anderson (SSB/HAM radio weather guru) tells us that there is a full gale of 35+ knots blowing in the Tuanaepecs (sp?), so I can assume that is what we are feeling here. It is supposed to die down tomorrow, but we'll gladly take it while it lasts. The good news is that our grib files are showing that the wind will fill in next week, and the ITCZ looks to be shrinking in we hopefully have reserved enough fuel for the crossing.

But the best part of the day, is that it is HALF WAY DAY!!! Finally, after 12 days, we are halfway! GAWD. We never expected such a slow passage. But we celebrated. New sheets on the bed!! Wohoo...I don't think I need to tell you how uuber-gross the bed gets with two salty bodies hot bunking in the heat of the tropics. (Get your minds out of the gutter - 'hot bunking' is when two people alternate use of the same one person gets out, another gets in). We did have to be judicious about who gets to sleep in the new sheets first!! :O) Thanks to 'Narama' for the critical advice that we definitely needed to have a second set of sheets on board. We also got to eat our HALF WAY treat of Reese's peanut butter cups!

Mexico to Galapagos - Day 11

[Mar 12]

Total Distance: 900nm
24 hr Distance: 68nm
Distance to go: 892
Lat/Long: 9°46.27'N / 100°03.03'W

Another windless day. We ran the engine last night for 4 hours. Good for morale to get some miles under us. Bad for knowing that we have not yet reached the ITCZ.

We missed a golden opportunity today. A ship passed by - maybe some sort of research vessel - mostly we see large containers ships out here. It was only a couple miles away from us. In hindsight, we should have asked them if they could spare some fuel. I'm sure 100L of diesel would be nothing to them...but it would make a world of difference to us. And of course, it was
flat calm, so a transfer would have been relatively easy. Oh well. Maybe we'll see another boat.

Saw squall lines on the horizon in the late afternoon. We tried to sail towards the dark clouds in hopes of a shower and some rain to supplement our water supply. No luck.

We finished the last of our fresh meat and fish yesterday - now we can start
fishing again!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mexico to Galapagos - Day 10

[Mar 11]

Total distance: 832
24hr distance: 50
Distance to go: 953
Lat/Long: 10°28.01'N / 100°47.69'W

Another stellar day aboard Renova. Yesterday afternoon, the wind picked up and we were once again all smiles to be sailing downwind under spinnaker. As the sun dissapeared over the horizon, we even broke our own rule - never fly the spinnaker after dark. But we were so relieved to be finally making headway, we decided to leave it up. After all...we were only doing 2
knots....but we were thrilled! It turned out to be a wonderful sail, even in the dark, and when the wind died and we finally had to douse it in the wee hours, we had no problems managing it. By sun up, the glassy surface was replaced by ripples, and we hoisted the chute, yet again. Even two knots of boat speed is a thrill, when compared with drifting backwards. Funny, how
our perspective has changed. Some months ago, we would have lit up the engine, if our speedo droped below 4 knots! HA!

Unfortunately our grib files (wind forecasts) show a very big area of no winds ahead of us for the next few days.

Had another swim today - wonderfully refreshing, as the heat and humidity is killer - hard to motivate onself to move, let alone be productive out here!

We hear that our spot position reports are not being received. We do send them out each day at noon, but I can only assume that we may have passed outside of the coverage area for global star's system. Too bad. Not sure how the coverage will be for the crossing to French Polynesia, but I don't have high hopes. In the meantime, I'll include our position at the top of the email for those of you who are tracking our (dismal) progress.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mexico to Galapagos - Day 9

[Mar 10]

Total distance: 782
24hr distance: 56
Distance to go: 999

We're drifting backwards. There is no wind. We need to save the rest of our
fuel for crossing the ITCZ (doldrums) and entering the harbour, so...we are
adrift. Backwards.

Wind forecasts show that we may get wind tonight. Fingers crossed.

So...we wait.

Mexico to Galapagos - Days 5-8

[March 6/7/8/9]

For those of you who are interested in this sort of thing...

Total Distance: 397/ 520/ 634/ 726
24 hr Distance: 106/ 123/ 114/ 92
Distance to go: 1340/1222/1119/1045
Engine hours: 4.5/ 0/ 3/ 6