I spent a lot of time in planning for this passage looking at the ocean currents. Wind and waves and weather are always the primary factors but our experience motoring back to the Galapagos against the current was so demoralizing we didn’t want to repeat it any time soon. We knew the first two days we’d get no help from the current, and only a little hindrance as we were pushed slightly westward. Then earlier today we reached a waypoint we’d entered and suddenly — and it did seem sudden — our speed jumped a full knot. We’re going the same speed through the water as before but our speed over the ground is one knot faster. The system works! We won’t have this big a boost the rest of the way because the currents swirl and turn but if our waypoints are correct at the very least we’ll avoid the slog we had a couple of weeks ago.
Last night just before change of watch the starboard engine sputtered and died. I started the port engine and when Jack came up we decided he could wait to change the fuel filter until daylight. This morning the starboard engine got a new filter and a fluid check and at noon we did the regular engine change and she’s purring along as usual.
We’ve had rain off and on all night, and a considerable shower at the moment. There’s wind too, but without a wind instrument we’re relying on the Beaufort Wind Scale and we think it’s just 18 kts or so.
We’re in that part of the ocean where there’s nothing to look at. Really nothing. No ships, no whales, not even any flying fish, although we did have a few squid on deck this morning. We keep watching, and we expect as we get closer we’ll see ships heading towards the Panama Canal. In the meantime it’s read, sleep, eat. The Zen of passagemaking.