Galapagos passage 03:57.5N 84:35.W Engine on the blink and we caught a fish.
Alan Franklin/Lynne Gane
Sun 22 Mar 2015 01:33
Dear Family and Friends,
22nd March 2015
If I mentioned that nothing was happening yesterday, I take it all back. With very light winds, we had been motoring for some time when around 10pm the motor spluttered and failed. No wind and no engine, several hundred miles from land is not an ideal situation. Alan fitted new fuel filters and hose but still the engine could not be coaxed above 3.5 knots and hardly ran at all in idle. At 1am we considered our options which is never a good time to be making decisions. Should we go back to Panama some 300 miles away but nearer than Galapagos, against the winds and current, but where we were certain to find an engineer. Such a journey might well take a week of very slow progress, then we would need to wait while repairs were made and go back out to Galapagos, at least 3 weeks by our estimation, or should we continue onto the islands, farther away but with winds and current in our favour. Our difficulty is, would there be an engineer there. I reasoned that there must be as there are day trip boats between the islands and if need be we could get parts flown out. So we caught the light winds and made a course south, missing the islands by hundreds of miles for the moment just to get some speed up.
Fortunately the forecasts predicted strengthening winds which we have had all day, so despite our misgivings about being stuck with no motor and no wind, it has actually been a good days sail. We are skimming the inter-tropical convergence zone and the area is prone to light winds or becalmed conditions. Making sure that we manage the sails to make the best progress, means we are trimming the sails frequently and adjusting the course. We are almost half way there and from our previous experience, the second half goes much more quickly.
More engine tinkering and a restart late today has made some improvement and I think we are more confident of running it than yesterday. Fingers crossed for good sailing winds all the way there.
On the fishing front, we caught a fish!!! A small meal for two tuna, but we caught a fish. Flushed with success we flung the line out again, this time it was a big brother and it broke the lure off yet again.
During our provisioning, I managed to get hold of some broccoli, you can not imagine what a joy and a rarity this is. I have experimented with the local vegetables with some success but I have sorely missed my greens, I feel I could write an ode to them! Our scrumped coconuts have been a welcome addition, today I made coconut macaroons, lovely!
We are preparing the boat to meet the many regulations the Galapagos imposes on visiting yachtsmen, more of this tomorrow.
All our best,
Lynne and Alan