The Northern Hemisphere
23 January 2009
On Thursday, for the entire afternoon, we had thousands of what appeared to be Bonito (a fish of the tuna family) jumping out the water. They were obviously feeding on something and enjoying what they were eating! However, to us four humans stuck on a forty foot plastic sailing boat, it was a remarkable sight - they seemed to be happy and so were we.
Then the sun started setting and just after our evening dinner (bacon, onion and cheese tart), we crossed from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere. Out log records the event as happening at 18:39 local time (21:39 UTC/GMT/Zulu or 23:39 SAST) and at 42 degrees 31 minutes west. Instead of the normal bubbly to celebrate the occasion, we opened a bottle of good South African Muscadel wine and enjoyed the sweet aromatic wine, remembering to each give a little to old Neptune in appreciation of bringing us safely to the equator and ensuring a safe journey to our destination.
So, we are now off the Amazon River delta (which will take another day or two to cross) and expect to arrive in Trinidad on Saturday 31 January. However, in a day or two we will experience the changing of the colour of the sea from blue to a green/brown, caused by the massive outflow of the river. Then, as we head further north, we will encounter the ITCZ, better known to most as the "doldrums". Hopefully there will be some breeze to keep us going but on most of my previous trips up this coast we have had a day or two (or sometimes three) of motoring.
At the moment the wind has changed slightly and is out of the east at about 14 knots, giving us a good push. Lets hope it stays like this for a few days more as we need to have a some more of good noon-to-noon runs. We are still experiencing heavily overcast skies and the occasional rain squalls.
A good weekend to all out there - regards from Jackie, Adrian, Luke and myself, John.