Sunday, May 07, 2006

Slow progress south in light winds

We've made it through the doldrums (the ITCZ - Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone), which lived up to its reputation for thundery weather. However the wind hasn't picked up significantly and we're doing our best to sail with the occasional breeze. The sea is calm which makes it easier to harness the little wind, although unhelpfully it's blowing from the SW - the direction we're heading. For the first time on a long passage we're sailing close-hauled and tacking.

The contrast between the last two nights is great. Last night, was a bright star filled night, the previous evening, the darkness was impenetrably black, occasionally illuminated by lightening flashes of the thunder storms surrounding us. Our spirits lifted yesterday when we spied our first blue sky for two days and emerged from the persistent tropical downpour.

At least Kika has had a good wash-down and cleansed herself from the inevitable covering of grime during our stay in Colon. We're making use of the calm conditions to complete a few jobs. We repaired the head-sail and made some "baggy wrinkles" which we'll attach to the shrouds to reduce the chafing of the main-sail when we sail downwind. We bought an old hand-powered sewing machine in Colon and some material to make a deck shade, hopefully the calm rain-free conditions will allow us to start work.

The distance to the Galapagos didn't look that great before we set off, but as we slowly zig-zag our way towards the Equator it looks like it'll take us a while before we make landfall.

Position @ 10.30 (GMT -5): N4°37' W81°09'

1 comment:

Emma Heasman said...

Nick and Ellen, Brendan and I are regular readers of your blog. The pictures are just amazing and Nick if people try and get on board again, sing them a song (pref with 'walking down the street' involved somewhere. That has been known to warn off the best of them.
Fantastic work guys.