Day 1 to the Galapagos
11 May 2008 | Gulf of Panama
The sun is setting on our first day at sea as we make our way to the Galapagos. We worked hard yesterday to get the boat all ready to go and everyone turned in early. We woke up around 6AM, sunrise, to dense overcast with thunder and lightning off to the southeast. Not favorable.
Yesterday the NWS Eastern Pacific Discussion reported the ITCZ running from 7N 77W up to 10N way out at 110W. There were scattered moderate to strong thunderstorms from 80 to 84 west up to 120nm south of the ITCZ axis. We needed to cross this area to get to the Galapagos. Our plan was to head due south and go around it if it persisted.
Fortunately this morning the band from 80 to 84 fell off of the report. So we set out on a great circle (pretty close to a straight line on the chart) for San Cristobal in the Galapagos.
Underway we checked in with the Pan Pacific Net for the first time (8.143 MHz). We heard our friends on Galletia report in well on there way to the Marquesas.
We used the radar to dodge the lightning we were seeing off to port but generally stayed on our heading most of the day. It rained (more drizzle) quite a bit in the morning but by afternoon it was just dreary overcast.
We have been running the starboard engine all day as the ITCZ doesn't have much in the way of wind in it (outside of the thunderstorms of course). Most of the wind we have had has been on the nose. We did have a stint sailing at 9.2 knots (an hour at most) running under jib and main but most of the day has been main and iron genny.
We just tucked a reef in the main for the night and are settling down to enjoy the big tuna Ed caught. Seas have been pretty calm so it should be an enjoyable supper.
Nobu says: "This is the most exciting cruising of my life"
Ed says: "Fishin's been good"
Hideko says: "Galapagos here we come"
775nm to go...