Monday, February 27, 2012

Galapagos' Tortoises Move Faster!

Passage from Panama City to Galapagos
Day Three:
Noon Saturday, February 25, 2012 – Noon, Sunday, February 26, 2012
Noon Position: N 05.14.90 / W 081.36.36
Distance covered in 24 hours: 67.6 nautical miles
Distance Covered from Panama City: 311.6 nautical miles
Fish Caught: 0
Motoring: 1.5 hours
Sailing: 22.5 hours

There is just no wind. And what little there is comes from every direction. We also have an engine issue on board (we think). When we turned the engine on late afternoon to try to smooth the ride out for making dinner, there was a "new" noise. We think its coming from the shaft/cutlass bearing/strut area, It is a whining noise that doesn't go away either at idle or speed. Michael will get in the water at some point to make sure there is nothing wrapped. We wouldn't do that at night (there are those fast, pointy nose, teethy critters out there, plus its too dark to see properly). And then today, we had a lot of squalls – which meant some decent wind but also really choppy seas. So perhaps tomorrow. We want it flat for that project.

The good news about the squalls is that it dumped some rain on us and really did a good job cleaning the decks, solar panels, rigging and windows, It needed it from dusty, gritty Panama City. The solar panels are already putting out more amps! Unfortunately it did get the cockpit cushions pretty damp – but the clean decks are nice. The squalls had some lightning and thunder, but not too much wind. It is exciting getting them at nighttime though.

So with the unknown engine issue, we will continue to sail no matter how slow. Saw some sea birds, flying fish, a turtle, a small bird that may end up hitching a ride (he looks quite interested in Astarte), dolphins but no fish on the end of a fishing pole. Our friends on a nearby boat "Avatar" saw a whale last night that stayed near their boat for about 20 minutes.

We are getting into the routine and rhythm of being "at sea." We wish the seas would flatten though and that "crazy" water seems to be getting crazier. There are larger and larger pockets of it and there seems to be more patches of it. Ed on "Avatar" calls them whale farts.

Boredom is a bit of an issue. The seas are a bit too rough to get many projects done comfortably or easily. Though Michael has put new tackle on many of the lures and fixed things here and there. Barbara prepares the meals and does most of the clean-up. Plus, you have to check the veggies and fruit everyday for spoilage. But naps are regular features along with several radio nets and contacts and some reading. Glad we spent the time in Panama storing things well and getting the boat in order for passage. Things are pretty tidy and not flying around the cabin.

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