Passing the Amazon

Pearl of Persia
Andrew Lock
Sun 9 Mar 2014 14:01
Lat 08:31.9N Long 53:57.0W
400 miles off to our port side the great Amazon floods out into the ocean.
They say you can see the discoloured water for 250 miles but at this
distance there is no visible difference in the sea. Being so far off means
we have avoided most of the squalls and rain as we are starting into the wet
season that brings a daily deluge to the land but we have had lovely weather
for the last couple of days and I think we have settled into our predicament
and just made steady progress. The days seem to drift by, no decisions to
make about reefing or sail changes....there's none left to change. The
little storm sail seems so showy and out of place but it has helped us
maintain some speed.
The charts mark the Guyana Current as flowing to the North East at up to 2
knots but for most of the passage we haven't benefitted at all and then
suddenly yesterday we noticed we had a 2 knot current pushing us towards
Grenada. Now 2 knots may not sound very much, it's the speed of a very
modest swimmer, but if we are only sailing at 5 knots that makes a total of
7. A two knot current against us means we are moving at only 3 knots. In
simple terms that would mean the passage would take more than twice as long.
On a long passage a helpful current is a huge benefit.