Hi coast guard

Gudrun V
Axel Busch
Sat 17 Mar 2012 17:10
Saturday, 2012-03-16, 12:00 local (17:00 UTC), 3:04.6N 82:15.5W, COG 230, SOG 6kn

Everything great on board of Gudrun V. Yesterday we ran the desalinator for an hour to keep our tanks and the solar shower topped up. I've only just installed the thing, and being able to make fresh water underway is just fantastic. The desalinator is with 20A/h small enough that we can run it from the solar panels, but with 25l/h big enough that we don't have to run it for long because it makes quite a racket, whump-whump-whump-whump.

Shortly before sunset we arrived 8nm NE of Isla Malpeno. The small rock belongs to Colombia and is about 1/3rd of the way to the Galaps. We had timed it just right to watch the sun set behind the island while we passed it. Liz went to sleep and unfortunately the wind as well. Fog came up and with no moon it was pitch black and eerie. I fiddled with the sheets for the parasailor but before long the wind was gone completely and I began to take the sail down, while the boat was stomping and rolling in the old swell. Always a favorite that. Then out of nothing a floodlight illuminated Gudrun and the Colombian coast guard hailed us on the radio.

I had heared engine noise for a while, but saw no lights and didn't get an AIS signal either, which is typical for the coast guard. So it didn't come as a complete surprise. But I was nicely entangled by ropes and limply hanging nylon sailfabric on the front of the boat, so it took me a while to free myself and respond. I gave them boat name, home port, country, last port, destination, and our names. Then they asked me to spell everything out for them, which Li said I got mostly right. But they seemed happy enough with it, wished us a good trip, turned off the light and went away again.

The wind didn't return until midnight, but then I set genoa and mainsail eagerly in 6kn of wind from the SE. But the wind only lasted for half an hour, then the breeze was gone again. Just teasing me, eh? We drifted along for four more hours and I drifted in an out of sleep, until finally at four in the morning the wind was strong enough to turn the blades of the wind-generator, which I always take as a sign to pull up some sails. Anticipating the wind to change back to NE I set the parasailor. Then Liz woke up again and I went to sleep until seven.

And so another day at sea is underway and we're wondering what to do other than change the sails now and then and watch out for boats, birds, dolphins, and whales. We've settled on reading and smaller boat projects, like a sunshade for the cockpit, and I started recording some footage for our pacific crossing movie.