Pacific Crossing Day 3

Monday morning and the sea has turned blue again! Temptress must be out of the very cold Humboldt current and back in tropical waters once more. During the night at the 4am watch change we put in a couple of reefs as the wind had grown stronger and warmer the first sign that we were creeping away from the colder water. Hopefully the 1 knot current we are still in is the South Equatorial current that hereabouts can be found north of the Equator. Whatever it is it is useful!

Sunday’s catch a bluefin tuna provided two day’s suppers – floured and fried on Sunday and curried tonight. The night was uneventful apart from the aforementioned reef and the skipper becoming entangled in my knitting bag! He arrived on deck at a watch change clutching his jacket(it was chilly), his lifejacket and some knitting. It seems in the dark as he went off watch he had placed his clothing on top of my knitting bag that I had left safely stowed on the sofa earlier. He somehow managed to bring the bag and my work in progress but left the balls below resulting in a trail of blue wool down the companionway steps. Once I’d established the WIP was still on the circular needles I thought it amusing but queue a Harris funk at my apparent stupidity.

Since midnight it has been all about sea mounts; if you look at a chart for this locality there are quite a few around these parts especially close to 5N and 82 15W where two rise from a couple of thousand metres to within 134m of the surface. As (a) the sea is likely to be more than a little confused in their vicinity due to the shear size of the change in depth and (b) surveys of the area are not that recent (one nearby shallow is quote “reported 1842”) so their position may not be as accurately known as the GPS has us, we are giving them a wide berth by gybing well in advance to head a little more west. Meanwhile the Cocos Ridge lies to the north and west of Temptress and Isle Malpelo somewhere southeast, both with attendant shallower areas so there may be more dancing round them to come.

Today too we crossed longitude 082 15 West – the eastern boundary of the UT-6 timezone so accordingly have put the ships clock(s) back one hour. By the time we reach the Marquesas Temptress will have progressed through three more time zones so at 9am GMT/UT in the UK will find us in Hiva Oa just at midnight of the day before. Except that by then the you over there will have put your own clocks forward for the summer so for you it will be 10am BST!

In the evening we got fed up with the slatting of sails and the banging of the kicker and boom. There was some wind but with 1.5 knots of current Temptress needed more than F2-3 from the ENE to keep her sails filled in the steep seas that at intervals come rolling under her. We gave up; first the main came down and then an hour or so later we furled the jib too. By 9pm Temptress was just drifting under bare poles so I went down to try to sleep in the oven below (the nights have finally got tropically hot and sweaty and we can discard our jackets) whilst Kevin dozed in the cockpit. Will we have wind tomorrow? Will Temptress ever make it past the seamounts and round the top of Galapagos? Tomorrow is another day… and we must do some laundry.

Noon to noon: 130nm through the water, 153nm over the ground* Noon Position: 04 53.56N 082 37.33W

*ie just under 1 knot of current through the 24 hours