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Date: 16 Apr 2015 18:18:00
Title: Galapagos to Marquesas

02:13:0S 032:37:3W
 
Thursday 16th April 2015
 
Pacific Magellan Net
The further we get from the Galapagos Islands the more difficult it seems for others to hear us. We have had to have our daily check-in relayed by other yachts twice now. I’m not sure (being a SSB virgin) whether this is due to a weak signal or climatic conditions. Not something covered in my course, neither is the CB type language used over the net. The RF Gain is set to max. So we are putting out our strongest signal.
 
Another Night Motoring
The wind barely gasps above a breath during darkness. We have been motoring on and off all night and now in day light, hoping to find the illusive trade wind and westerly setting current.. Having read and re-read Jimmy Cornell’s advice from Ocean Cruising Routes we are convinced we are following it correctly. Accounts of other people’s passages for this route seem to vary from at best eighteen days, with favourable wind and current, to forty days stuck in the Doldrums. So we are heading to approximately 003 degrees south in the hope of better conditions. We eagerly listen to the Magellan Net for other yachts accounts of their conditions, but only one is anywhere near us (sixty miles ahead) and they seem to be experiencing poor wind too. We saw a fishing boat last night and today, she was towing eight smaller boats in a line. At night she had two large flood lights on the water to attract fish. Perhaps we should try this technique.
 
Ken’s Musings
While we often personify the sea and the weather attributing them intent and emotion, both are simply behaving according to the forces and principles that influence them. One can easily understand the forces of superstition, so strongly played at sea. Searching for the cause of anything that might influence this highly unpredictable environment would have become an obsession for sailors living in a time when science was as much a mystery as magic. Our reactions are simply based on the expectations we set. Being at sea makes it quite clear that whatever our expectations, certain things will be as they are, in accordance to forces beyond our control. That only leaves us with what we can manage – our own expectations and our responses to the world behaving differently to the way we prefer. For the crew, with the exception of the skipper, who by now knows that travel at sea is always a “plan adjusted by reality”, may show signs of frustration, mostly taken in their stride.
 
And so, focusing on the present as 0300 arrives, my watch comes to an end, I notice the warm breeze, the dazzling star filled sky, the photo plankton mirroring the stars and the possible squall brewing in the south and think, yes, it is just as it should be.

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