Tue 20 Mar 2012 17:37
It's hot! We're glad that we bought some black garden mesh in the "Discovery Center" in Panama, which we cut into rectangles and zip-tied all over the cockpit for extra shade from the sun. Works great, highly recommended.
Contrary to the weather forecast the wind didn't die completely down yesterday and we were moving along at 4-5kn all afternoon and night. In the morning the wind did stop for three hours, and we turned on the engine, partly to keep on moving but mostly to charge the batteries and run the watermaker. It started and run just fine, but when the wind returned shortly past 8am I was happy to turn it off and sail along quietly again. So much better. Today the sky is clear and I hope that we get up to 80% charge again with the solar-panels, but I have to confess that the heat and heal have more of an effect than I had anticipated.
280nm to go, and it's tempting to look at the map every hour and see how much closer we came and calculate how much longer it might take. But nobody knows what the next days will bring in terms of wind, and any estimate is pure speculation. 200nm south of Panama the grib files stopped making any sense, the wind was always different than forecast. So I'm not downloading them anymore and instead just go for the fastet course, or straightest course, to the Galapagos, whatever feels like the right thing to do at the moment.
Instead of downloading grib-files I uploaded that photo yesterday, I hope it arrived. Although tiny in size it took 5 minutes to upload with my iridium satellite phone, and at 1$ per minute I don't think I'll upload another one anytime soon. Although I have a lot of photos I would like to show, because there is actually a lot to photograph. Sunrise, sunset, clouds, sails, Liz in the cockpit, birds, dolphins, and at night stars and a fantastic blue bioluminescent wake that Gudrun trails behind. But the highlight are of course dolphins, and Liz is always on the lookout for them.