Sunday, 15 June 2014

Well on our way ...

We are now three days out of Ensenada and have sailed over 500 nautical miles. This puts us nearly one quarter of the way toward Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii.

We started out quickly but in little comfort. The wind close to the continent parallels the Mexican coast and required us to sail with the wind and waves close on the starboard bow to keep from heading south of our desired course. CRISTINA, the third eastern Pacific hurricane of the season was churning away 700 miles southeast of us with 120 knot winds. Of course if we were worried about CRISTINA we wouldn't have left but, not knowing exactly what she would do next, it didn't seem a good idea to head south.

Now, far from the land, the winds are moving behind us toward the northeast as northern hemisphere trade winds do and our motion has changed from an urgent pitching to a gentle relaxed roll. Our speed has dropped a bit but that seems a small price to pay for comfort. CRISTINA is dying away still far to the south; early season Mexican hurricanes seldom head very far into the cooler waters of the central Pacific.

Now, after such a good start, the forecasts are predicting very light trade winds in five or six days. That would be unwelcome but, since the lighter winds only appeared in the down-the-road forecast today, they might just as suddenly disappear tomorrow ... as if they had never been predicted in the first place.

We know there are many ships out here. Our instruments announce their passage at distances of forty or fifty miles on their urgent missions to and fro between Latin America and the Orient but only one has come close enough to see. A 300 meter long behemoth passed a half a mile away in the middle of the night en route to Manzanillo. The lights looked VERY close even at that distance but we had spoken with the watch officer. He saw and was avoiding us.

1670 nautical miles to go!

At 6/15/2014 20:06 (utc) our position was 28°47.82'N 126°04.14'W

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