Saturday, February 25, 2012

Slow Go

Passage from Panama City to Galapagos
Day Two:
Noon Friday, February 24, 2012 – Noon Saturday, February 25, 2012
Noon Position: N 05.46.41 / W 080.36.34
Distance covered in 24 hours: 87 nautical miles
Distance Covered from Panama City: 244 nautical miles
Fish Caught: 0
Motoring: 2 hours
Sailing: 22 hours

Changes in latitude. Changes in sails. Changes in direction. Changes in speed. Changes in fishing lures. And of course, changes in underwear (just seeing if you're reading this!).

It was a slow day – we didn't even make 100 miles in 24 hours. The wind has died and is coming from all directions because of its lack of velocity. We are getting good at changing sails aboard – we've tried just about every combination in every configuration to keep the boat moving forward and the sails from banging themselves to shreds (along with the rig). Luckily the seas are relatively benign so we don't have huge waves or chop to deal with – just enough to be annoying – folding in the sails and causing them to snap back and shake the whole boat.

The phosphorescence in the water at night is pretty magnificent. When we are moving at any decent speed – we leave a sparkly trail – like afterburners. The waves that the boat creates is also quite lovely to watch as the sparkles dissipate in the water. Plus, when dolphins visit, they look like glowing torpedoes as they make their way through the water.

We finally spotted some flying fish today – the first we've seen in the Pacific. Thought that would be good luck for fishing – but chalk up another zero fish day.

Then there is the "crazy water." That's what we're calling these patches of "noisy" water. You can see them in the distance and there is this very rapid-looking patch – not very large – that you go through. It is very noisy and weird – but there are lots of them. We're guessing they are some type of current – but there are lots of them – some separated by narrow patches calm water. The "crazy water" is usually takes less than a tenth of a mile to get through and we can't see any noticeable impact on our speed or direction. It's just weird and we've never seen it before in the Caribbean or Pacific Northwest.

Otherwise we continue edging our way further and further south and west – making our way towards the equator. Everyday we are further south than we've ever been on our boat The water temperature changes a lot here – we see it go up and down by several degrees in a matter of hours. . Our buddy boat, "Avatar" is a bit ahead of us and they've had a few squalls – but we've not gotten the decks wet at all. We see the rain in clouds ahead – but we never seem to get to them.

We're still eating some fresh goods which is nice – the tomatoes, tangerines and avocados seemed to have lasted. We'll cut the watermelon tomorrow and see if that's still edible, We're settling into the routine – but it seems that all the sail changes, big ships approaching and clanging rigging happens at night keeping somebody from getting their "off-watch" rest. But we nap plenty during the day to make up for it. Last night we had to call a few big ships to make sure they saw our little sailboat. The AIS system aboard makes it great to have a name to call and to really know if they'll be close enough to you to bother them (because when you call they do seem "bothered.")

All is good aboard the good ship Astarte. It's slow – but we're making progress.

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