Approaching the equator

Sea Mist > Sold to New Owners July 2016
John and Cheryl Ellsworth
Tue 30 Mar 2010 22:07

02 24 N  85 35 W

In our last blog entry, we said that we had sailed a large part of the first 200 nm….well that certainly changed. We have been on engine power most of the time since then…the facts: of the 83 hours underway so far, we have been on engine power 55 hours and only 28 hours under sail. This is called the doldrums legitimately….there just isn’t any wind that is sailable in strength and it keeps changing its direction all the way around the clock! Our main concern is managing our fuel so that we can make it to the destination. We are currently under sail and making only 5 knots but at least we are not burning fuel. The calculations show that at this stage we will have enough fuel, even if we don’t have much success with wind the rest of the way. We needed to get 200 nm under sail over the whole 900 nm passage in order to be assured of sufficient fuel;  we now have over 150 nm in the bank and adding to that as I write this entry.


In the dark hours last night (Monday night – Mar 29), we were encircled by storms/squalls/sheet and bolt lightning/teeming rain….winds ranged from 7 knots to 27 knots (for those metric folks – that would be from 14 kph to 54 kph) and seas became ROUGH…very different from the glass calm or near glass calm conditions that have prevailed for much of the trip. The good news is all went well and the boat got the “car wash” it badly needed. By mid-morning the rain had stopped and it has been a mix of cloud and sun since.


We have not changed our “boat time”…we are still on Panama time which is the same as Eastern Standard Time…no change in these parts of the world to something called “Daylight Savings Time”……a weird concept of which  locals have not heard or experienced. When we get to Galapagos, we will move our clocks back one hour as we are heading west and will, by then, be, locally, on Central Standard Time (i.e. Chicago time in the winter) or Mountain Daylight Time (i.e. Calgary now)  (or for Standard Time reference, we will be UTC minus 6; Universal Time Coordinated (UTC)…used to be called Zulu Time….or Greenwich Time).


No big updates on marine life…a few dolphins and a turtle but the activity dramatically slimmed down since last blog entry.


Our current ETA for arrival at Wreck Bay (Puerto Baquerizo Moreno) on the island of San Cristobal is Thursday afternoon, April 1st…but that may move out and have us in there early on Friday, April 2nd depending on wind. We have arranged for a permit (Called an Autografo) to be provided to us by an agent when we arrive. The Autografo allows us to visit 3 islands: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on Isla San Cristobal,  Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz, and, finally, Puerto Villamil on Isla Isabela. Those islands/ports are separated from one another by approximately 40 nm from each other.


Ian just made fresh popcorn and a movie is starting so I must exit the writing.


Do drop us an email when you can; it is great to get email in our inbox when we check each day via Sat Phone.


DTG to cross the Equator: 230 nm

DTG to Wreck Bay: 314 nm