Noon Position: 22 50.06N, 125 35.93W
Course/Speed: SE 1 – 2
Wind: E 6
Sail: All plain sail
Sea: Very lumpy from SE
Sky: Clear with cloud at all horizons
Cabin Temp: 82
Water Temp: 76
Miles last 24-hours: 88
Miles since departure: 1113
If it is true that all great literature is, at base, an extended complaint, then could I write you such a book right now! Only the sailor knows how crazy-making (not to mention, hard work) is that teasing, on-again-off-again wind.
Which, in my case, died right away after dinner. More cautious after my batten pin failure of yesterday, I took in sail, put on the anchor light, and hit the sack. But the swell rolled Mo sick. Clang, bang. Sleep, impossible. Began motoring slowly at midnight more as a defensive move; I could put Mo’s head into the swell and at least she was quite.
Wind came out of the ESE at 6am and built to 15 knots within a couple hours. We romped off close hauled. The weather charts suggested we should, hosanna!, pick up steady wind today. Would this be our ride to the line? Man, this could be it! Monte broke out a cigar and made himself an espresso.
By noon the wind had eased to 6 knots. Two hours later, becalmed. Monte spat. “In my country, we do not do it like this.”
I took two reefs in both sails and sheeted them in tight, this so as to ease our rolling, then got on with the day’s major event: bathing, specifically, my first head and beard wash since departure. Cool salt water in a big red bucket in the cockpit, shampoo, and dunk away. Then a clean shirt and a few rolls in my (not clean) trouser bottoms–summer attire.
Revitalized, I dug out the pilot charts. It’s been nagging me for days, this idea that my course down 125W to the ITCZ took me into seasonal high pressure. Did I not see that coming? My route planning, to be fair, had been done two years ago and was based on a September, and later, an early October departure. But Cornell’s OCEAN ATLAS showed that at our current postion west of Cabo, I could expect northeasterly winds to Force 4 *seventy percent* of the time on average.
Good. Not crazy. Just unlucky.
This fact checking seems to have embarrassed Neptune, for within the hour we had 15 knots NE. As I type we are bettering 7 knots with wind on the beam.
Will *this* be our ride to the line?
Breakfast, a big pancake taco filled with two scrambled eggs and cheese (these pancakes are a real hit with the crew). Lunch, a bell pepper and a can of Dolmas. Dinner, lentil stew with rice. A beer.