05.12 Fenix Tradewinds

Fenix II ARC
Liz/Steve Rakoczy
Mon 6 Dec 2010 12:39

05.12.2010      Tradewind                    “13:29N 04:06W”


We were promised the imminent development of tradewinds by the weatherman. But, on this trip the weather forecast had been wrong so many times. So, we did not expect anything to happen soon. I was on watch. It was a starry night and we were traveling under the asymmetrical and main at 5-6 kts in the same strength of wind. The seas were confused and from time to time the wind dropped back to 3 kts which required frequent adjustment of the steering. Nevertheless, after all those windless days it was a pleasant night. My mind was empty and I enjoyed a rare moment of “now”. The natural creature overtook the thinking human and I was reduced to enjoying the gentle rocking and murmuring of the rolling sea, the warm caress of the tropical breeze, my lungs filling with clear air. The only stimuli my brain received came from my eyes. They were fixated on the sky-show put on by the universe. 

Then, something changed. First it became quieter. The air cooled and the wind became more regular, strengthening. The boat was traveling happily in these improved conditions. Suddenly the sea became slight. Fenix shook itself, raised the bow and our limping boat became a chariot racing forward. The sweet sound of the hull cutting through the waves returned, the sails were filled and the thumping sound of a vigorous white wake happily followed us. At last the “Trades” have arrived!

I was thinking of all those human-beings who traveled with this wind. What made them face the unknown and risk their lives? Unlike tuna, salmon and the beasts of the continents, we do not have primordial urges to return to our breeding grounds. But, here and now there are one thousand people like me sitting in fragile little floating devices, hardly suitable for ocean crossings, and plowing forward. Why? I guess that primate, which hesitantly climbed down from the tree, slowly raised herself to stand on her hind legs and picked up a stick to get the apple three million years later, is to be blamed.


The next 24 hrs we traveled 152 NM. At 10.30 on 6th December we took the AS down and launched the Parasailor (a sort of spinnaker with a big hole in it). L