Tuesday 27th March '07 Day 2 Communication difficulties....
I'm having great difficulty connecting in to Winlink to send & receive emails & weather faxes - it's just not happening, despite repeated efforts throughout the day & night. It means I cannot post Position Reports on the Winlink website. An alternative would be to post reports direct to Shiptrak & Yotreps (using my Sailmail backup - although that's not working too well either!) - but I'm not sure what email address to use for them. My other back-up of Inmarsat C has also decided to play up - I'm getting the message 'modem not seen', so the unit itself may be faulty - I need to investigate that further. And I'm still not seeing the Nobeltec World charts - despite a phonecall whilst in Zihuatanejo which supposedly resolved that...
Otherwise, everything is fine on board. The AIS alarm is working fine and there aren't too many big ships around so I'm able to get good periods of sleep in between keeping an eye on the wind conditions and sail-trim. The good W wind of last night has died down & become NW 10kn - so we're just ambling along at 4-5knots, not too far off our preferred course. Have had several groups of dolphins keeping us company from time to time - always nice to see them! One green bell pepper has already gone bad so I'm into cooking my usual ratatouille before any more go off.
Noontime position (1800GMT): 16deg 28' N; 103deg 34' W . Noon-to-noon distance run by log: 126 n.ml.
Had several boobies fly around at sunset last night, hoping to roost in the rigging. One sat in the bow on the pulpit for quite a time but after it fell off abruptly onto the deck, with a big wave crashing unexpectedly into the boat, it finally gave up - was quite funny to see...
Restful night although, having set Windpilot into action to steer boat earlier, had to get up to adjust things a couple of times because wind veered into the north, as expected.
Ambling at around 5kn SOG. Can expect to get to the 20 kn NE Trades in 2-4 days, according to 'weather guru' Don Anderson who I spoke to on the SSB radio this morning. Sounds like a good run to the Marquesas - "No Doldrums, just a few squalls in the ITCZ, which isn't very wide", he says.... we'll see!
(Later) Feeling very relaxed. Have just spent some time over a mug of tea with plotting 1800 UTC (local noon) positions on both a chart of this portion of the Pacific and on a Universal plotting sheet - interesting exercise. Also looking over relevant charts and pilotage info for possible landfalls over next few weeks, once this passage is completed. Will clearly have lots of time to look at those in detail and also to read some of the many so-far-unread books and magazines on board!
7.15pm (sunset) Wind seems to be getting a touch lighter, but still sailing nicely - seas calmed down - just the odd bit of swell. About to have dinner while there;s\still some light!
Noontime position (1800GMT): 15deg 45' N; 105deg 29' W . 24hr distance run by log: 137 n.ml.
2pm Thursday 29Mar07 Day 4
Another gentle sailing day in bright sun - clouds beginning to line up along direction of wind which is presently just edging E of N, soon to become NE Trades. Picked up usual few flying fish on side-deck - tried giving one to resident young booby in bow but it took fright & flew off - temporarily.
Finished grapes mid-morning and fancied ham & tomato sandwich for lunch - bread was completely mouldy! May yet get into bread-making mode!! Made quesadillas with ham instead (while tortillas still OK in fridge!).
6pm Getting into mending mode - chart-table 12V connector has a broken live wire so need to deal with that & have also just replaced cockpit 12V outlet with new
Was sitting in cockpit enjoying afternoon mug of tea afterwards when we were suddenly surrounded by countless dolphins - many with small ones alongside - stayed for a good half hour & gave a great display!
Booby obviously got fed up with falling off his pulpit perch & has left - without too much mess to be cleaned up...
Noontime position (1800GMT): 14deg 57' N; 107deg 09' W . 24hr distance run by log: 117 n.ml.