Monday, 23 June 2014

a gentle routine

We are now in our eleventh day of our passage from Ensenada, Mexico to Hilo, Hawaii and life out here has settled into our passage routine.

We now sail the tropical Pacific with a sea [and air] temperature at 24C [75F]. It is cool outside at night but nothing that would require a sweater; the days are quite warm.

We see flying fish around the boat every day. If you haven't seen these creatures, you would find them quite amazing. They appear out of the surface of the sea and fly - not just leap or glide - above the surface for many tens of meters. Although not on this trip, I have been hit in the face by a flying fish while in the cockpit of our boat. It is common to find a few of them littering the deck each morning.

There have been uncharacteristically few birds though three followed us for several hours a few days ago. I think birds far offshore are more common in colder waters where there is more to eat. As we are now on an untravelled part of the ocean, we have not seen any ships since a week ago when we crossed a line between Asian and South American ports.

Our departure from Ensenada was on a full moon and the nights were very bright. Now, as we approach new moon, cloudy nights are very black while clear nights are illuminated by a faint silvery starlight. The waning moon gives off a fitful light just before the dawn lights the eastern sky.

Our progress is slow in the light winds, often measuring not much over one hundred nautical miles a day. Each day's forecast is much like the previous yielding yet more unthreatening gentle trade winds. This is hardly cause for complaint as we cycle through our watches and galley duties with little but routine to concern us. I don't remember such a quiet passage since our sail from Capetown to the Caribbean some three years ago across a tropical South Atlantic renowned for its gentle conditions.

Seven hundred more miles to go.

At 6/23/2014 13:25 (utc) our position was 22°51.90'N 142°59.48'W

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