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Date: 25 Feb 2008 17:22:13
Title: Departed Ecuador into a flat calm and a big counter current.

February 25th.                                                                                           01:54S 83:10W
13:00, a delayed start, saw us on a tight reach to clear Punta Santa Elena so that we could set course for Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos. It was a great sail while it lasted and after the kafuffle on the start line it was nice to wend our way through the fleet to be about 3rd or 4th around the point. Of course 'Branec IV' is always everywhere first. A trimaran 50 feet long which in the hands of the owner, Frenchman Roger Langevin, just flies.
It was generally a port tack start but as usual, someone, got caught below the mark, had to tack which put them on starboard and the right of way. The first time ever I have gone across a start line, with the genoa flogging and the motor hard astern to avoid a collision!
We had a delightful sail until around 17:00 hours and then the wind did as forecast and died away and the fleet ran flat bang into a counter current of between 2.5 and 3.5 knots. We spent all night motor sailing at 2000 revs which would normally give us 8 knots and we would be lucky to have averaged 5.5. I will know when I do the distance run at 13:00 today for the full 24 hours.
Our trusty weather forecaster and passage planner, Bruce Buckley in WA suggested a waypoint further south than the rumb line which might mitigate some of the current. Bruce says that the counter current, 100 nautical miles north around the equator is running at 4 knots. This is throwing our calculations for fuel requirements in the Galapagos well out as we had to sort of pre-order.
We have the trusty line over the stern but nothing yet today. Need something  by dinner at least. Other yachts report plenty of Mahi Mahi (Dorado) and Storyteller sailed through or around a pod of pilot whales yesterday. Storyteller also had some problems with their roller furler which at this time is still not resolved. They can't get the sail to roll in or out!
We are running a quiz show by SSB radio which is proving interesting. Southern Princess's question is: What are the northern most, southern most, western most and eastern most states of the United States. Blue Flyer had an interesting answer: (N) Alaska, (W) Hawaii, (S) New Mexico and the eastern most as Iraq! Who knows the answer?
Lorraine Steele, our crew mate from Fiji to Vanuatu in 2001 has joined us in La Libertas and it is just like old times. Lorraine is a real great person to have on board and good yachtsman (person?). Any way as I am now out numbered 2:1 the 'cockpit' has been renamed the 'box office'.
Love to all and tune in again tomorrow.


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