Friday 19th November 2010
Sky cleared completely early in morning ... not a cloud to be seen... Ambling along in 9-10 knots of wind from NE with very little swell ... All very relaxing, once I'd shaken out the mains'l reefs.
Red-footed booby came by, circling the boat, ... and a white-rumped storm petrel, skitting low over the small waves.... and I found our first small flying fish on deck this morning - the first of this passage, along with a few squid that landed on deck last week.
Checked steering quadrant movement to see if cables too stiff - seems fine... Checked power connections to motor - look good and secure. Spent some time wrapping course computer in sluminium foil...
Checked in to Chubasco Net earlier - and later to Manana Net for a chat, while awaiting for call from Raymarine UK on satphone to try to sort out AP problem.. All very sociable - especially my own session later in the afternoon, on 14305kHz....
By midday, all reefs were shaken out .... wind was mainly just abaft the beam at NE 10kt, occasionally higher ... later backed frequently to NNE which meant we were broad reaching. Some scattered cloud ... bright sunshine .... making 4.5-5 kt.
Sunset - and all cloud disappeared soon after (to reappear later) - so there was lovely moonshine and a warm, starry evening. I made sure my mug of tea didn't spill tonight! Increased wind for a time but didn't last long - meant we made around 6.5 kt boat speed for a while but a definite foul current an hour later meant only 5.5 kt SOG.
24hr distance to this morning: 136 n.ml - result of speeds over 6 knots over a long period yesterday. We're nearly 2000 miles due W of El Salvador, S of Guatemala.
Lovely and warm - bare arms and legs....! Finally put fleeces and long underwear away for the duration... Thinking of doing some laundry while I'm in a sunny, warm climate!
ITCZ still looking almost non-existent dead ahead - there's the remnant of a tropical Low nearby at 110W. It seems to be stationary and dissipating - but has given slightly more northerly winds, and possibly stronger ones, than we might have had otherwise.