Bone in her Teeth

Day 11

Noon Position: 20 50.49N 123 21.06W
Course/Speed: SE 7
Wind: NE 18
Sail: Working jib, reef in main. True wind abeam; apparent running about 70 degrees
Bar: 1019
Sea: NE 4
Sky: Clear
Cabin Temp: 80
Water Temp: 78

Miles last 24-hours: 141 (!)
Miles since departure: 1254
Thus far the wind has held, though I got a lump in my throat in the early afternoon when it softened to 10 knots. I popped the reef in the main and whistled a happy tune and the wind soon rebuilt to 16 gusting 20.

Over night I ran with a full main and one tuck in the working jib and we averaged over 7 knots, even touched 8 knots a couple times (good speed for Mo), but it was hard work for Monte and in the morning he was soar with me. Now, with a tuck in the main and a full working jib, we steer more easily but produce a half knot less. Monte tells me this is due to an adverse current; he is sure. Whatever it may be, the more conservative is the better. We’ve many miles to go.

Current strategy: As this looks to be *the* wind, I’ve put us on a course SE to a spot at 10N by 115W, about 800 miles down hill and roughly the top edge of the ITCZ. The Horn is well E of us and as the SE trades look to be initially from the S on the other side of the ITCZ, I want to make some easting now knowing that we’ll likely lose ground to the W on the other side of the line. I also don’t want to feel pressed to be as close hauled as every can be through the early trades. I’d rather ease off and boomerang around down to about 35S.Now flying fish are common as is a lone masked boobie (black primaries, white coverts and body, blue face) that appears every few hours to patrol Mo’s wake for escaping fish. As if on queue, the fish stop flying when he is about. Twice he has dived without success. Then he wanders off only to return later and try it all again.

I don’t know the first thing about flying fish, except to say that from my observations some are small and clumsy flyers and some a large and can fly almost like birds, sailing expertly over a great many waves before nosing back home. The species we are seeing now are decidedly of the former type. As Mo runs them down, they leap and crash and cartwheel and fling themselves straight into the air and do pretty much everything except fly. It’s a wonder the boobie isn’t having a field day.

Found a squid on deck today. Didn’t eat it, though I did contemplate it.

AHA, the boobie has just landed on the bow pulpit. The sun is down. Guess he’s going to wait “here” till morning to see of the hunting gets any better.

2 Comments on “Bone in her Teeth

  1. I thought I just left this comment but it doesn’t show up. Anyway, your latitude relative to SFO says you are more or less half way to the line. And that suggests another 11 to 12 days to get there. It depends on what the ITCZ has to say.

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