Passage to Galapagos – Part 3

Friday (17 March) afternoon and the conditions remained the same. The only difference was that a little swallow came by to visit. He was clearly exhausted and was hanging on to ropes and latterly the dinghy trying to recover his breath. We did try to get him into a nest of cloths but he just wasn’t interested…nor in any water we supplied. So we left him alone.
At 6pm we had another spectacular sunset and we continued to make good progress towards our rhumb line. The wind continued at around 13 knots….until 9pm when it dropped back to 8 knots and we could barely keep the full genoa filled so put a reef in to minimise the banging and slapping….and that worked as we kept our boat speed between 4-5 knots during the night as we helpfully also picked up a favourable current. It was another dark and gloomy night with lightning off in the distance so we were pleased to see the moon when he finally came up at 10 pm. Our little stowaway flew down into the salon during the evening and although I looked around I couldn’t find him – I assumed he had flown out behind my back.
Saturday morning at 6am the wind had swung north and we gybed again to keep us high of the rhumb line which is where the wind was forecast to be located. It was slow going again though. During the morning I found our little stowaway friend sitting on the cockpit cushions….looking weaker than ever….not sure where he had spent the night. He ended up sitting on the cockpit floor and we tried again to get him to take water to no avail….sadly we had no bugs to feed him with either. By noon the wind had started to fill in to 12 knots so our boat speed improved once again….
Sadly I have to report that our little friend died….so we gave him a proper sea burial to the backdrop of Eva Cassidy singing Somewhere over the Rainbow. I even shed a tear for the little chap. Soft or what?!?
During the afternoon the winds were consistent although the rolling continued making it challenging to cook down below. We were being pushed towards our rhumb line by the current – away from the wind – so we gybed back again and set the extended pole for the night. We also ran the generator to top up Morphie’s batteries and to have a charge fest of all our mobile electronics.
At 6pm the sky was ominous and there was no sunset as the sun sank below the clouds. It got dark very quickly and there was lightning around again…but thankfully off in the distance. The wind is being quite fickle with speeds in the 5-15 range but we are managing to keep sailing….it is weird though to be surfing along at 7 knots one minute and then down to less than 3 the next! Mr Moon finally decided to come out to play at midnight.
This morning, Sunday, and the sun came up behind us in spectacular style. The wind remains constant at 12 knots and, although still rolly, it is not as bad as it has been. The sky ahead is grey and cloudy so we may have to dodge squalls later. We are getting close to the Equator now at 00 degrees 20 minutes north…so we shall cross over into the Southern Hemisphere later today. We have covered 790 miles at the time of writing and hope to reach our destination of San Christobal tomorrow morning. Currently our ETA is 7am so we may have to slow the boat down a little bit overnight as we want to navigate our approach in daylight.
Bye for now Jan