Our personal aquarium....why can't the show be continuous?
05 35.032 N 81 21.362 W
We are now a bit over 200 nm along our way to Galapagos. The temperature in the sun under the blue sky is showing 113 F / 45 C while in the cockpit under the canvas bimini protection it is 95 F/ 35 C…… and 92 F below decks in the saloon; we think we must be nearing the equator!
Our only complaint enroute has been that our marine mammal friends aren’t constantly performing but all in all it has been a good run for entertainment:
- In the last hour, we had a huge turtle have to pour on the power to get just to the side of Sea Mist as we came by him; he must have been having a mid-day siesta.
- Just moments ago, Ian was adding a bit of footage to his video camcorder and saying “not much to do but look at a broad expanse of blue water”.....when….he was caught by about 10 dolphins coming close by doing flips.
- The top performer prize goes to a small dolphin who showed up with a few others just after sunrise today when I was on watch; he left his compadres to keep on their merry way while he came close to the boat and first did a jump out of the water that must have been well over 10 feet vertical; he then immediately followed that by doing 8 or 10 tail walks as he moved in a oval path at the side of Sea Mist. Each of his tail walks lasted for many seconds as he was able to sustain them for a long period before a tiny moment to drop back to the water to begin the next one. He then did one more close circle by Sea Mist as if to say: “well, what did you think of that….land creature?”
- We had a couple of whales blowing close by yesterday ….and…we had a pod of 50 to 100 large, grey spotted, dolphins from which about 10 of them took a small break from their ocean pursuits to play in Sea Mist’s wake both on the bow and off the stern…..rare to see the interest in playing in the stern wake; it is almost always the bow wake that captivates them.
- Our first encounter yesterday was with small rays swimming at the surface; what you see are 2 fins in the water that first makes you think “SHARKS” but then you notice that both ”fins” are moving in matched precision, one dark in colour and one whitish in colour…so you then realize that it is a ray with the distant side from your eyes being the top of his body (dark colour) and the closer “fin” being the underside of his body. There were quite a lot of them so it got our imaginations going with accounts of wild things that one of us had read about marine life.
- The top performer category award for yesterday’s activities was shared by a number of very large manta rays who enjoyed doing water exits and, while airborne, doing twisting somersaults.
As for the sailing, it has been mixed, but great, over the first 30 hours. All of the wind and seas have been behind us….which is GOOD! We have had winds up over 25 kts which required us to reef the sails and we have had light winds directly behind us leading to wing-on-wing sail configuration most of the distance. We were able to advance with “sails only” right out of the anchorage and never had to start the engine power until 3 am this morning (22 hours after we began the passage) when the wind abruptly dropped in strength and changed direction to make it non-sailable for a few hours. We were back sailing at low speed ( about 5 kts) for much of the morning today, Sunday, and then, just after noon, the wind dropped to less than 7 kts on our stern and we had to give up and put the sails away. We are now under engine power at low revs (only 1400 rpm) to reduce fuel burn rate and increase our motoring range. This will be a good experiment on fuel managment to guide us in some of the much longer passages we have before us. Even at that low engine rpm, we are making about 7.5 knots of speed over the bottom/over the ground.
Everyone is very contented with the conditions; lots of showers are being taken to cope with the heat….which is really only a problem from about 10 am til 4 pm. Food is great; seems like we are in a gourmet restaurant as we once again enjoy Chez Cheryl’s creations that she concocted a month ago in preparation for this odyssey; the freezer is still stacked to the brim as we begin to slowly dive into the meal delights.
Will be in touch as we progress. Till then, let your imaginations go wild in thinking of performing marine life….we will be doing just that with a bit of local stimulation to keep it real.
DTG to Galapagos: 625 nm ETA April 1st or 2nd.