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Day 11&12 The Doldrums!! Heavy rain and grey skies of the ITCZ overhead as the wind dies.....

Day 11 Sunday 14th May - into the ITCZ/Doldrums
Suddenly, just before dark, the wind died and veered to SE from NE - Nereida was grinding to a halt with the change of wind....
Grey skies were everywhere with a few big, darker grey, very active rainclouds to be seen nearby.
Sails had to be dealt with - preventer in, mains'l sheeted to midships, genoa sheeted in also, as we changed to a close-hauled configuration and changed course a little to keep sailing.
That lasted a short while before really heavy rain ensued - and continued overnight.  The wind died away completely so the motor eventually had to be started to give us some forward motion - a big change from my nonstop, unassisted circumnavigations, when the use of the motor is not allowed and I had simply to drift around if the wind died..  A real bonus to be able to use it!
By Monday morning (Day 12), all was wet.  The sky had some cloud but was pleasantly sunny as I made use of the fresh water everywhere on the boat to clean windows, solar panels and elsewhere - it's always nice to be able to clean the salt away.
It looks as though we've been lucky and might avoid the nasty squalls so often encountered when passing through the ITCZ/Doldrums.  I changed course from due S to head more SSW - it's looking remarkably clear of active convection in that direction - which is roughly where the Marquesas lie.  Fingers crossed, that continues and we find some wind soon.
Of course, the motoring was to continue all day and overnight in the light wind...  but it was a lovely sunny day and I was able to relax....
Position at 1800Z on Monday:   05 27'N  119 39'W  making just over 4kt, motoring SSW in 4kt of SSE wind'

Written by : Jeanne Socrates