Daily Archives: April 5, 2015

Just another day at sea

Our wind died again overnight and by morning we were barely making 1.5 kts in about 4 kts of wind. And it’s not even in the direction we want to go. But sailing teaches you patience and we just have to make the best of it and wait for better conditions. We got an email from our friends who are sailing from Panama to the Galapagos and they are also experiencing light winds and a slow passage. I made apple cinnamon pancakes for breakfast and we sat in the cockpit enjoying the nice weather. Then we got out the sewing tools again — two pairs of pliers — and stitched another couple of feet of our blown-out cockpit window. It’s slow going and very hard on the hands but we sat on either side and passed the needle back and forth through the many layers of heavy vinyl until our hands cramped up. Another day ought to do it. We rewarded ourselves with a passionfruit and banana smoothie, and then the wind really died. Since we need to charge the batteries anyway we fired up the port engine and pointed EV south because even a few miles will help. But the engine, which we thought we had fixed back in El Salvador, is once again unable to sustain our usual cruising RPMs. It goes up and down every few minutes and sounds a little sickly. So it’ll be back to the starting block on that one as soon as we get to civilization.

Meanwhile, a few days ago we snagged a line on the starboard propellor and since we were sailing well at the time we put that problem on the back burner. Now with the port engine working but not as reliable as we’d like, we need to make sure the other engine is tiptop. We have no wind, the seas are calm, no time like the present. We put the port engine in neutral and waited for the boat to stop. Jack suited up in mask and flippers, we tethered him to the boat and he jumped in. I had an emergency heaving line on deck, too, in case he got detached from the boat. You don’t want to go losing your husband in mid-ocean. Jack figured out how the line was caught and dove again and again to cut the line away. A dozen dorado instantly swam over to check out the old fart in the yellow fins. And no, we didn’t catch any. So we have one good engine and one pretty good engine. What we need right now is wind, so all together now, send wind! Not too much, though. Let’s specify a steady 12-15 kts from the southeast, ok?

We’re as far from land as we probably will ever be. We’re 1500 miles from French Polynesia, 1400 miles from the coast of Mexico, 1600 miles from the Galapagos. I like to think we’re on the homestretch.


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