On Friday, with a change of course needed to avoid the often squally, nasty conditions being shown further S in the ITCZ, the pole holding out the genoa upwind on the starboard side was no longer needed so it had to be lowered and stowed. On the rolling foredeck in quite a good- sized swell, that took quite a time, as did the sail-handling while gybing from starboard to port tack so as to turn to the S.
But finally, we were sailing along nicely in good wind, making a good speed, although still rolling around often in the fair-sized NE swell.
Overnight, I had spotted the merchant vessel Kilo Moana looking to get rather close but she wasn't replying to my calls on VHF16 . Eventually I saw that they had changed course to go well astern of us - something I normally have to ask the big ships to do to avoid problems with them cutting close ahead of us 888. Hoping they heard me, I thanked them over the radio for doing that - nice to see such good seamanship and welcome courtesy, as a vessel under power crossing paths with a sailing vessel!
I finally located the leads I needed in order to use a back up mic, with my older well-used one having given up the ghost .... so I'm happily back on air and using the radio again, now!
Squid and flying fish continue to land on deck overnight.
I've tried troubleshooting the misbehaving instruments' problem - but to no avail. Fortunately, it's not critical, more of an inconvenience. As we head closer to the ITCZ, with its frequent squalls, possible lightning, heavy downpours and/or calms, I changed course a couple of times, hoping to avoid the worst of the weather ahead - it would be nice if we could dodge the bullet!
So far, it's been more very enjoyable downwind sunny Tradewind sailing, only occasionally rather rolly in bigger swell.
Our position at 0100Z on 14 May 2023 (late Saturday 13 May, local time) was: 08 34'N 119 29'W, making just under 6kt and heading just E of due S
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