Monday, 22 June 2015

Someones Knocking At The Door ~ Day 5/6 Panama - Galapagos

Position at 0945 local  1445 UTC  00 00.77N 086 45W   22 June

COG 245degrees  SOG 8knots  Double Reefed Main, Reefed Gib, True Wind 14 knots still just in front of the beam, 2 metre swell
Sunny Skies now, 4 booby birds on the bow, oh ~ here comes another squall!!!!
24 hour run 0830 - 0830 was 156 miles.

The days are all melting into each other somewhat, conditions yesterday were somewhat lively
Night time Visitors, Interesting Boat Registered in Guadeloupe
Quite a lot to report, starting with maybe two days ago (could have been three) we were overflown mid afternoon by an AWACS aircraft with a big satellite dish on top, they did a very low flyover and made a good attempt at trimming the top of our mast off.     Conditions in the afternoon were ok, hard on the wind but about 10 knots so not bad and we were almost laying our course for San Cristobal in the Galapagos.

The heavy clouds formed again at dusk and squalls showed all around us on the radar.  Then I saw lights of a boat, we wondered whether someone was coming to do a drugs inspection after the flyby, who else would be out here without radar, as nothing was showing up, but maybe it was lost in the squalls.  We were both below tidying up for night time when we saw lights shining on us and heard an engine and voices.  But no, this was no drugs bust, just 2 men in an open wooden fishing boat about 25 feet long and they had swung by to say hello and to show us their catch of enormous fish, maybe mahi mahi or tuna but bigger than us, almost the length of their boat.

Of course this meant they brought their boat VERY close alongside,  we had a good sea running and one wave came up between the boats and bounced off them and we got the most saltwater in the cockpit we have ever had, they thought it was hilarious, guess they get drenched by waves the whole time ~ we do not!! So off they went then turned round and came straight back, this time they asked for water and we threw them a gallon bottle we had in the saloon but he came too close to get it, another wave came through and they hit the boat, profuse apologies and he gunned it to get away but we expect we will have a scar alongside to show of our visit!

We were 400 miles offshore and there was actually a small  fleet of about 6 of them, guess there was a mother ship too. Shortly after the squalls started hitting and we rolled up the gib and drifted around for the next few hours, happy to have the lights of the fishing boats as company.
When the wind returned it had changed direction directly out of the south south west, straight where we wanted to go, at this point we had 361 miles to the top of San Cristobal but we needed to tack away south east, to be able to sail and get some southing in. The wind was forecast to come around to the south and build so we needed to get as south as far as we could to make the next few days as comfortable as we could.

17 hours later when we tacked back we had 368 miles to go, skipper and admiral were quite despondent but we had achieved a much better position.  We had a good sail on the new tack all day, always as hard on the wind as was comfortable, cloudy skies all day, heavy cloud cover at night, the moon was visible for about 10 minutes one night, the only time we have seen it so far since leaving Colon

That will do for now, I am going cross eyed and we are almost in the southern hemisphere, best get ready with camera.  Life on board is improving 


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