Galapagos - Marquesas - Day 2 - 02 12.41S 095 30.49W

Mike and Liz Downing
Sat 1 May 2010 23:54
The conditions have remained light - no more than 8kts most of the time, with occasional burst up to 10kts. It's mostly all from between south and south east. At 8kts on or just ahead of the beam we are able to get about 5kts or so boat speed, but with this lovely current the all important speed over the ground (SOG) has been 6.5 and 7.5kts. With the light winds and little swell, it's really very comfortable at the moment. The wind dropped out almost completely last night and it was back to motor sailing at very low revs for 6 hours to keep the boat moving. But even so, the noon to noon run was 160 miles - some way from a record for us, not bad at all. A squall came through this morning and increased wind speed by 10kts, giving us the fastest boat speed we have achieved so far, but it didn't last more than 30 minutes and it poured with rain, so not so good. Once passed the sun came out and it's been a hot sunny day. The forecast is for light winds to continue, but we hope it doesn't drop out again tonight.

Including ourselves there are 10 boats joining in on the SSB net and I'm the net controller for the day. So at 8am and 8pm I call all the boats in turn and get their position and weather conditions. The boats are now well scattered and mostly well out of VHF range, so the SSB radio is needed. We followed our friends via the SSB when they left 4 weeks ago and we were able to talk to them 3,000 miles away. We are also able to get a rough weather report from the US over the SSB. So while SSB radios are very expensive, they are very useful things to have.

We are still getting the occasional swallow tailed gull flying round the boat at night. It's all a bit eerie when you can only just make out a shape flying close by in the dark. I suspect we will lose them the further we get away from the Galapagos. When the clouds clear we have a fantastic full moon most of the night and it's like sailing under flood lights.

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