Z E N I T U D E
Blue Water Dreaming
At Sea - Las Perlas to Galapagos - Crossing the Equator Line
Passage - 14 to 22 April 2010
14/04 - (07.59.19N-78.55.92W)
We left Espiritu Santo, Las Perlas in the morning with no wind and calm seas. The trip to Las Perlas left us in a bad spot to start the crossing as we faced a current of 1.5 kn. against us while leaving the Gulf of Panama. During the afternoon a NE wind came and we were happily sailing in 15 to 20 kn. wind. Our friends in Toroa didnít face the current in their straight route from Panama City.
15/04 - (06.50.30N-79.30.60W)
With just a 109 miles in 24 hours we kept sailing with light winds. In the afternoon Oscar catches a Mahi-Mahi, a good start to the long trip. During that night a close encounter with a cargo ship. They didnít answer our radio call, and we had to change course to avoid collision. They did answer later when we called by ship name after getting AIS data. This is an usual pattern, they always answer if they find that you know their ship name. Our AIS installation is not integrated with our navigational system and it is not convenient to use, but it proved to be useful, at least for this part of the trip.
21/04 - (00.00.00 -88.14.00W)
Is 8.25AM and we are crossing the equator line! This is a very much anticipated moment and we celebrate with champagne breakfast. The moment passes by and we are back to our reality of very confused chop and large swells with short interval from the SW. The pounding continues and itís hard to sleep but weíve done a total of 800 miles so far, we are in the Southern Hemisphere and itís just another 100 miles to go.
22/04 - (00.53.74S-89.36.77W)
We arrived to the proximity of the island of San Cristobal at 2:00 AM, and had to wait to enter the anchorage with day light. A hard wait with seas still very confused. During half of this trip the waves have been pounding exactly under our bed and we were by now wondering if it would be like that all the way to Australia. But all that was forgotten with the magic on entering San Cristobal and anchoring with the approval of the sea lions that gave us a wonderful reception.
18//04 - (02.45.29N-82.53.06W)
We are now about 1/2 way of the trip, getting closer to the Equator line. The winds are SW, 10 to 20 knots, the seas are very confused and we are tacking S then NW with very little progress. We did just 100 miles in the past 24 hours.
19/04 - (02.12.98N-84.25.62W)
We have only managed 98 miles. We have a better angle on the wind but still is hard to keep course, we are motorsailing and getting hammered by SW seas. Itís been so far a difficult day, there is a current of 2 kn against us. But it seems we are being lucky, people 30 miles north report 3 kn current and south of us 30 kn winds. It seems we canít complain.
20/04 - (01.15.58N-86.04.56W)
The washing machine continues with wind and seas from the SW and we are wondering where are those large, smooth and organized seas and that fair wind from behind. Weíve done another 114 miles.
16/04 - (05.04.25N-80.23.70W)
We managed just 110 miles in the last 24 hours and now we have entered the ITCZ and there is no wind so we are motoring.
17/04 - (03.32.00N-81.34.00W)
The wind has picked up but is coming from the wrong direction (SSW) and itís hard to keep course. Weíve done another 120 miles.