Las Perlas>Galapagos July 2nd 2011 - Day 3: DTF 626nm (02:54.3N 81:16.8W)

Vries Peter Pons
Sat 2 Jul 2011 22:50
After a rough night when beating against 20kn SE winds and high waves still
on a starboard tack to the south, and all the time getting closer to the
shore of Colombia, at 04.30h we decided to tack and head west or south-west
wind permitting. Initially we were still heading into short, high waves,
with 17kn winds, but we were at least making some progress towards the
Galapagos and it was a slightly smoother ride than before. Later this
morning the waves settled and the wind came down to some 10-15kn, but still
from the SW, which ensured relaxed sailing at 270dg, so straight west,
whereas the Galapagos are at some 250dg. We'll never make it in six days, it
will be more likely 7 to 8. But we've only used the engine 14 hours, which
was beyond expectation. Every two to three hours motoring means an
additional jerry can to carry on board, when filling up at Isla Isabela, so
that will take us less time. Isla Isabela doesn't have a fuel dock, hence
the jerry cans. We've now sailed 438nm, whilst we've only covered 334nm
towards our target. We should do better from now on, as the winds are
supposed to back to south, which should allow us to head straight for the
Galapagos. We're not sure yet, whether we first stop at San Cristobal for
clearance, which would also take some 80nm of the distance, or continue
directly for Isla Isabela, the most impressive island where we're allowed to
anchor, but where we cannot do clearance.

Aquamante behaves well beating into the high seas, and we feel completely
safe and protected, but apparently we did make water with the big waves
flushing the deck, because the high water alarm went off. With the manual
bilge pump we pumped out the water, and only later found out a wire of the
sensor activating the automatic bilge pump had come off. We're not making
much water, but it is not ok nonetheless. Don't exactly know the reason yet,
but apart from minor leakage of a hatch and porthole, it could either be
deck fittings that need to be refitted with kit, or water coming in the boat
from the lazarette, the storage space at the stern.

We get used to being at sea again for an extended period, and our routines
from yoghurt preparation to water making besides doing your watch, keeps you
busy most of the time. Daph has finished her first book, and I am struggling
to get the weatherfax working on board.