Golfito to Ecuador Day 1

The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Sat 23 Nov 2013 13:19

22 November 2013    Golfito to Bahia Caraques, Ecuador (Day 1)


06:40.32N 084:11.22W


I was up early remembering that I needed to send another email to our agent in the Galapagos who is arranging an Autographo (cruising permit) for us.  Having sorted out my last bit of admin, I downloaded another GRIB file, which still showed light westerly winds for today, so we were good to go.


I put the clocks forward an hour to Ecuadorian time and we dropped the mooring at eight o'clock.  Our boat speed indicator wasn't working, so I had to go down below and clean the impeller - there was a massive barnacle that had built its shell between the paddle wheel and the housing.  I dread to think what the growth on the bottom would be like if we'd stayed any longer than 10 days.


We had to motor 20 miles across Golfo Dulce because the winds were light and flakey, but once clear of the peninsula, the wind settled to 10-14 knots from the west and we had a cracking sail all day.  We were hard on the wind, but the seas were pretty calm, so it was a pleasant enough motion.  Also we were able to maintain a course of south-west, which was perfect - it's nice when a plan comes together.


As usual on the first day of a multi-day passage, I was restless.  I'll not be fishing for a couple of days because Glenys has enough food in her fridge and I don't want to spend much time down below until I get my sea legs.  So I spent most of the day reading and waiting for the next meal - the cassoulet that we ate as the sun set was much appreciated.


As it went dark, I put a reef in the main and went to bed at seven o'clock leaving Glenys on the first three hour watch.  It was a lovely night sail - the winds stayed consistent and we bowled along at 6 knots using our Hydrovane wind steering.  As forecast, the winds started to back to the south-west and dropped a little, so by dawn we were sailing at only 4 knots, on a course of 200 degrees taking us more south, but I'm happy enough with the amount of westing that we've achieved so far.