Saturday, May 13, 2006

Approaching Galapagos

The excitement onboard is mounting. We're rapidly approaching Galapagos and at 22:50 today we passed the equator. The wind died an hour before and it felt as though "a watched GPS would never reach 00°00.00'N" such was the glacial speed the latitude counted down towards zero.

The moment finally arrived and despite prior reservations about the lack of tradition associated with staring at a GPS read-out to mark the occasion, the event turned-out to be much more exciting than my childhood memory of staying up to watch my digital watch flip from 23:59:59 to 00:00:00. Missed singing "Auld Lang Syne" though

We're hoping that the wind picks up and allows us to make landfall before dark. If not we'll have to make a call whether to heave-to and wait for daylight on Sunday or risk a night entry. Noa, who arrived today, report that the navigation lights leading to the harbour are working, so the decision will depend on the quantity of cloud cover. With a clear sky, the full-moon should make a night entry straight-forward. The lack of wind is a little frustrating as earlier today we were speeding along at 7knots+ and it looked as though we'd easily make landfall before dark.

I hope I'm not overly tempting fate to say that everything on-board is currently working well. We feel fortunate as the passage seems to have taken its toll on other boats, with Revision II and Ragtime both suffering back-stay failures - they both managed to stabilise the situation before they lost their masts - and Helene reporting a minor galley fire.

We finished the tuna today, so the line went back in, but it seemed without luck as darkness fell and I reached to reel in the line. Suddenly the elastic stretched and the the winch spun furiously. We hurriedly enacted fish drill, but the lure came back empty. We'd lost our supper. We'll try again tomorrow and hope to hook something large enough to share with Noa and Ragtime both of whom will have arrived by the time we get in.

As Ellen mentioned in the previous entry, tradition dictates that those crossing the equator for the first time are required to participate in some kind of humiliating and degrading ceremony. We discussed the standard activities such as hair shaving, eating and drinking foul-tasting food etc and decided upon foul-tasting food or rather eating something that we really don't like. I ate some of Ellen's boat-pickled beetroot. Ellen ate a small portion of one of my delicious treacle sponge puddings - which took me most of the afternoon to prepare.
Ellen decided it wasn't as bad as she'd anticipated, so perhaps I'll have to come up with some other punishment. Hope we've placated Neptune though.

Position @ 22:50: N00°00.00' W88°07'
102 miles to go.

1 comment:

sandersj89 said...

Well done both of you. I know Kika very well having sailed on her many times over the years with my father-in-law. She is a great boat and so pleased she has taken you so far.....and safely. Have been watching your progress keenly for a long time now!

Take care