The most comfortable passage!
13 April 2015 | Panama to Galapagos
Our smoothest passage by far!!! Going from Panama to Galapagos, we crossed the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone or ITCZ for short, aka “The Doldrums”. Most people leave Panama with lots of fuel and prepared for many hours of motoring with no wind. Our friends from Miss Behaving, who had crossed few weeks before us, motored 4.5 days out of a 5.5-day passage. We decided to risk it, instead of increasing the amount of fuel, which would have meant to buy more jerry cans and to carry more weight. We were banking on Por Dos being able to sail in very light winds at a reasonable speed. She did not disappoint us.
I can’t remember how many sail changes we did per day in order to keep Por Dos going at her best speed. The seas were smooth, the sky was clear and the sun was shinning so nobody minded the many sail changes.
This was a relatively slow passage (average daily mileage and speed was 160 miles and 6.8 knots), however, on our second day, Por Dos managed to surf at her highest speed ever while under spinnaker on 20 knots of wind. At first I could not believe my eyes: 17.7 knots water speed! I must have made a mistake! We continued to surf at 12, 13 and 14 knots – hitting some 15 knots. A couple of hours later, 16.8 knots and then 10 minutes later, a wave took us and kept on going, and going, and going - 18.3 knots water speed! For sure, we were about to take off! With the wind picking up, it was time to take the spinnaker down, for yet another change of sails.
We motored the last twenty-four hours in flat waters and no wind, which made our Equator Crossing Ceremony very easy: Once the engines were stopped with just stood at 00° 00’, gently bobbing. The Equator Crossing Ceremony is when King Neptune visits the boat and all Pollywogs – the ones that have never crossed the Equator by boat before - become Shellbacks – the smug ones that have just crossed the Equator. Roan and Alec crossed on the paddleboard being towed behind Por Dos; Mark and I swam across the Equator. We also egged each other – great excuse to have a good shower before arrival. With our Shellback Official Certificates in hand, we continued motoring. By early Monday morning, on our sixth day, we anchored in Puerto Ayora in the island of Santa Cruz, Galapagos.