09 - Pacific Crossing

Third night out

At 1500 local time yesterday (Friday, 02MAR) we passed about 40nm east of Malpelo Island (Colombia) and turned the corner for a direct course to the Galapagos. The wind had been perfect up to then but started to slowly die soon thereafter. The Intratropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ, "the Doldrums") had dropped below the Equator for a few days but is moving up again now. With us moving south we are fast converging.... After wallowing around for 9 hours we have started up the "iron sail" (i.e. our good old Beta Marine engine) at 0300 and are now motoring at just above 5 knots.

Under way again

Weighed anchor at 0845 this morning and started our sail to the Galapagos. After a few hours of light westerly winds a steady breeze from the north settled in and we had a great afternoon, sailing under Parasailor and Hydrovane. Had a big school of spotted dolphins play with us before sunset. Switched back to genoa for the night and are now sailing under stary skies, with the Big Dipper behind us and the Souther Cros ahead of us. Seas a bit confused as we pass the edge of the Continental Shelf, but nothing big. Nicky is asleep in the cockpit, all is well aboard.

Second night out...

..again under stary clear skies. Had a nice relaxed sailing day with good progress and some help from the current. The Pilot Charts for March show a large circular clockwise setting current in the basin formed by Panama and Columbia, and it seems we're riding the south setting portion of it (by luck rather than by design...). 671 nm to go to the Galapgos. All is well aboard, stay tuned...

PS: Picture above shows Markus earlier today, trying to "unfreeze" the ends of our spinnaker pole.