Sunday, December 11, 2005

Becalmed followed by headwind

As predicted yesterday, the wind continued to die through the day and despite trying to coax as much speed as possible out of Kika, wtrh the cruising shoot, by 19.00, we were making less than 1.5knots and decided it was time to use the engine. We motored through the windless night into a smooth sea.

At our watch change, 6am, the wind had started to blow gently from the SW so we set full sail and headed west on port tack. We tacked after lunch and are currently heading S into a 15-20knot SW with reduced headsail and reefed main, still making 5.5-6knots into a short lumpy sea. We're really glad we sorted out the spray hood, its saving us a soaking as we beat in the lumping seas. The head winds should only last until midnight when then wind should back to the north and we can start making SW progress again and at least the batteries are back up to 100% charge.

On the radio net this morning, Blue Iguana, an English boat we met in Santa Cruz reported that they'd gone swimming while they were becalmed. As soon as they got back into the boat they saw the unmistakable fin of a shark circling their boat!

Position at local noon (13.21 UTC): 20deg 09'N 22deg 45'W.
Daily distance run: 105nm; cumulative distance: 625: Engine hours: 10
Distance to go: ~ 2075nm
Conditions: SW 15-29knots, moderate/rough sea, 1009 millibars steady.

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