Day 4 to the Galapagos
14 May 2008 | Pacific Ocean
Day four to the Galapagos and it is actually starting to seem like we will get there some day. Last night we motor sailed a good bit south of the line to San Cristobal to get back on track and setup for a day of sailing in the morning. We tucked a reef in at sunset and powered along. The current was against us and our boat speed at 1,800 on one engine was barely 5 knots. It was a beautiful evening though and very calm. The seas and wind were on the nose, but they were light and not too bad. We played some music at sunset and enjoyed some of Ed's great tacos.
Nobu starts the night shift with a watch from 16:00 until 19:00. We put one more reef in the main than she needs right before the sunsets at 18:30 and then Nobu hands over to Hideko. Hideko has the 19:00 to 22:00, watch which is the most desirable (she must be married to the captain). Ed takes over at 22:00 and goes until 01:00. My turn comes up at 01:00 and runs until 04:00, the least desirable (he must be the captain). Nobu starts it all over again at 04:00 and by the end of his shift at 07:00 the sun is up, we have the reef shaken out and are off under full sail.
Last night during my watch we had a lot of bird activity. A few nights ago I was watching the radar to try to maneuver around some rain on the horizon. As I looked out at the cloudy skies I saw a green object flying toward us. I couldn't figure out what it was. It looked like it was moving fast and then it split into two parts and veered wildly, glowing green the whole time. When it crossed over to the other side of the boat it turned red. This was when I realized that it was two very white sea birds reflecting our running lights (green starboard and red on port). I was about to call the Air Force.
As Swingin' on a Star scares small fish at the surface the birds swoop down using our lights to see with. Other than some bird poo on the fore deck it is fun to watch. We had a group of four or five last night. It is amazing how they can just live at see for months.
A bit later a small black bird landed in our cockpit. He didn't look big enough to be living at sea. I tried to scare him away but he wouldn't budge. He looked tired and he was over 150 nm from the closest land so I let him be. Shortly there after he went inside when I wasn't looking and started hopping on Roq's head. Roq just sort of looked at me like, "Daaaad, he's on my head". Yes, Roq is vicious. After having his way with Roq the little guy hopped down into one of the hulls. Hideko was having none of this though and made "Perry" a little bird home in the dinghy. Perry has been with us for about a day now so it looks as if he's going all the way to the Galapagos. He hasn't tried to fly yet but Hideko is giving him rice and water so hopefully he'll get back on his feet, er wings.
We had a boisterous but solid sailing day today. We were in the 7 plus knot zone all day. We are running as close hauled as she'll go without losing all speed (about 38 degrees apparent). We have the autopilot keeping the wind 38 to port so our course is a little erratic. Unfortunately it is tending north of target. We were hoping to get into some of the advertised south wind today but haven't quite seen it. We have had some lifts from a moderately sized convective system or two. We're north of track today but at least at a good pace.
Nobu says: "no more seasickness!"
Ed says: "zzzzzzzz (he's off watch and sleeping)"
Hideko says: "I'm nursing Perry back to health"
354nm to go...