Monday, March 26, 2012

Slow Like the Galapagos Tortoise

But, we'd rather be speedy like the Galapagos penguin in the water.
Position as of March 25, 2012 – 1300 (1 pm) 01.28.39 S/091.18.70 W.

It was a VERY slow day. We started out great. Anchor up just after noon on Saturday. March 24, 2012 and we left the anchorage of Villamil on Isabela under power. We had our pet sea lion "Stinky" on the back swim platform – it seemed he wanted to come along. He stayed there until we got to the channel markers where we scooted him off – we could see us being arrested for kidnapping a sea lion from the Galapagos National Park!

We were able to get the sails up right away and scooted off with the main and head sail right on a course of 240 degrees. We would head west more than south – trying to stay above 3 degrees south for the first 1000 miles.

After a few hours of good sailing, the wind died and we had an unfavorable current of bout 2 knots against us. Burning our precious fuel so early didn't seem like a good idea, but we thought if we could get away from the island more, perhaps the current and the wind would be more favorable. So we motored for several hours. Neither the wind nor the current improved with distance, but it was safer being further from the lava rocks and shoreline.

Through the first night, we drifted – backwards. Everything we gained by motoring was lost.

It continues to be a glass slick. At night, we could even see reflections of very white birds in the sea because it was so smooth. Not a great start. We've tried every combination of sails and even tried to rig our head sail using the boom as a pole...but nothing can make the wind stronger.

The good news is the Polynesian fleet of sailboats that left several hours after us took a more southerly course and seemed to do better for awhile – but watching them on our AIS – they too are not going the right way nor are they going fast.

There just is NO wind. We continue to drift and motor every so often – but with only 90 gallons of fuel and 3000 miles – we can't do much motoring. So perhaps it'll take us 60 days at this rate – not the 30 we were hoping for.

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