4.39N 80.30W

Mojo 2
Andrew Partington
Fri 8 Jul 2011 22:24
This afternoon we continue to sail south-west of Panama and are around 60NM from Malpelo Island. This island lies well out to sea and is basically a very large rock, famous for its huge schools of hammerhead sharks. Nobody lives on the island and you can't anchor there.  Sounds like a pretty cool place to hang out!!  We should pass it in daylight hours tomorrow.
We had a great sail in the clear moonlight last night. It is the first time in weeks that we have had a clear sky and the 12 knot westerly it came with was also most welcome. We were able to maintain 5-7 knots of boat speed in fairly calm seas.
This wind held throughout today but it did swing around to the south for a time as we passed a massive rain squall, that thankfully missed us. Currently we are sailing due south and are told that we should continue experiencing a westerly wind until Sunday when it will turn to the south. Hopefully we will be far enough south to ride this wind across to the west and the Galapagos Islands.
We were told to expect to motor most of the way to Galapagos as it lies in a wide band of the doldrums but [so far] we have had great winds to sail most of the way there. It would be great to arrive there and conserve much of our 500 litres of diesel.
Around 30 minutes ago an albatros landed on our port bow rail. He [or she] is still there and looking to settle in for the night.
I forgot to mention yesterday that on our first day out of Las Perlas we were shadowed by a naval ship for several miles. Eventually the ship stopped ahead of us and faced their bow around into the wind. The ship was only a few miles away and close to our direct path so we just kept on sailing. As we came within a couple of mile of the vessel a helicopter took off from its stern, did a loop and headed over our way. It flew right overhead and just kept on going. As we came closer we could see the ship was flying a US flag. The chopper flew overhead about three times and then landed back on the deck of the ship. Not sure if they were checking us out but no approach was made. I guess we were sailing off the coast of Columbia.
Dean is coping with the sailing well and is free of any seasickness. Jane has been quiet and feeling a little off, hopefully this will settle soon.
Nothing to report on the fishing front today.
Getting ready now for another long night. After a couple of weeks in port you forget about the long watches and the lack of sleep. All of this is helped however by having the extra eyes of Jane & Dean aboard.
Andrew Partington.