The day awoke to a startling scene. It was the sun rising above the clouds on the horizon. It’s been two days since we’ve seen it, a moment without rain or enough wind to actually sail. Several times I’d noticed, while ghosting along at a half a knot in large lumpy seas, Uncle Ray, our tireless auto pilot has a bright green vector line showing our course over the ground pointing north east while we are “sailing” south west. Time to crank up the Volvo…again.
Ten minutes later a squall with twelve knots of wind would come through so it’s back to the fire drill, head up into the wind, raise the main, fall off the wind, set preventers, and switch off the engine only to watch the wind drop to nothing. Reverse fire drill. This isn’t what I paid for and we can’t keep running the engine but we can’t let the effing currents push us back up to the equator. We had a carefully laid out plan to use the currents when we started but these Pacific currents seem to change hourly. I can’t understand how the currents in a three hundred square mile area of windless ocean could be totally against us. As I write this we have nine kts of wind which is a miracle but we can only do 2-3 knots speed over ground on a broad reach into these currents and perhaps dragging around every damn trumpet mollusk in the Pacific. The stress aboard Escape Velocity is written on Marce’s face. Not much to do but keep calm and carry on.
Fifteen knots from the east would be a start though.