Monday, March 31, 2008

Paying the piper!

I guess all that trade wind sailing and fair breezes had to come at a price! Fortunately not too high a price, so far anyway. Last night we were hit by our first squall just after sunset...only 25 to 30 knots but was forcing to go too far south so we reefed down and eventually took the main down and rolled up the head sail, running with just the staysail all night. It was not a comfortable ride, rolling like a barrel of monkeys, but at least we were making 4 knots or more in the right direction.
At daylight, exhausted from the motion, we stumbled out on the foredeck to get some more canvas on. The wind had eased and we were slowing down. Just as we took the ties off the mainsail, the rain hit us. Now, you have to understand, it's been 100% humidity and warm for 2 weeks now and the rain was very welcome. The timing just wasn't that great! So we got soaked and then wondered if wind was following the rain? So we waited a bit and when nothing happened we raised it, lowered the staysail
and unfurled the jib! So now we are really tired but sailing off to the West again comfortably. Of the other boats in our little radio group, two are working their way through the ITCZ and it is interesting to hear their reports twice a day. Sounds like squalls, lightning, rain and little wind are the order of the day! That is why we carry the extra fuel on get us through the doldrums!
Anyway, it is exciting being here. Some blue sky has appeared so we will see what the day brings. Talked to Don Anderson in Oxnard CA. He does weather reports by radio on the local nets. He advises going as far as 130 degrees West before turning South. The other two boats went down closer to 125 degrees. Too soon to decide...we'll see! Our own personal weather router, JD, is sending us abbreviated versions of where the ITCZ is each day and what the conditions are either side of it. Within
a couple of days, we should be close enough to decide where to dive South and cross it. Sounds like a whole new world on the other side.
Meanwhile the Southern Cross still appears nightly to show us the way!!

1 comment:

Kari B said...

Hey guys, glad to hear all is o.k..... Your trip is getting more and more exciting with each passing day.. thanks for letting us in for a peek. Take care, miss you...