Passed the Galapagos

Yesterday had many parts. We started the day sailing at eight knots, a relatively comfortable reach. The wind and waves slowly decreased, to the point where we felt ok playing a board game under way. On one trip outside to check the instruments, Andrew discovered a small crack in the corner of the cabin top, right next to where we’d had a different crack repaired in Santa Marta. Apparently the damage went deeper than they had bothered to fix; very frustrating. We covered it with duct tape, just to keep water out pending a real repair when we arrive. This is why we usually do all our own work.

We made our closest pass 14 miles from Isla Darwin, where the wind gave out on us. One of the models had predicted a dip like this, and suggested we use it to motor south. And since we could use the power anyway, we took the advice, turned, and started the watermaker, leaving the main and staysail up for decoration.

A few hours after sunset, the coast guard called us on the radio and told us (we think, radio-garbled Spanish is hard) that we were not supposed to be in the marine park, 40 miles from any of the islands. Would have been nice if that had been noted on the charts, thanks Garmin. We told them we were just sailing by, and they did not seem mollified. So we turned a bit further west and let the current speed us out of Ecuadorian waters.

This was about Andrew’s bedtime, so he went to bed with no wind and the motor running. He woke up when Jazz killed the engine and started putting the genoa back up, then woke again when she asked for help taking a reef. And again an hour later, to take a second reef: the wind had picked back up to a feisty twenty-five knots. So yet again, Jazz got the rough overnight shift with the boat trying to vibrate apart.

In the morning, the wind died down just in time for Andrew’s shift, so all the sail came back up. We’re currently making five or six knots, about a third of which is current, with slow, maybe 2′ waves gently rocking us. If the sun would just come out to charge the batteries, we’d happily take a fifty-day passage like this.

2820 miles left on the rhumb line.

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