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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Day 2, Ecuador Passage

0600 Wednesday, May 7

The brilliant blue of the sky overhead fades to a pale baby blue as it brushes the horizon. The ocean is a sparkling blue green with indigo patches of shade from the clouds above. The sky is mostly clear with a ring of raw cotton clouds low on the horizon. We watch in fascination as the puffy white clouds shape shift. They are beautiful in spite of the hint of menace behind each one. Dolphins pay a brief afternoon visit, going airborne directly in front of Nakia's bow, making it the "splash zone" on an E-ticket ride.

This morning we changed jibs from small to large in hopes of eventually sailing. It's hot in the cabin (high 80s) during the day making it hard to nap even with all the fans pointed right at us. We try to stay on deck in the shade of the sails where the breeze is coolest.

Monday we passed three fishing vessels but saw no boats on Tuesday. We went through a patch of water thick with jellies and saw two turtles making a fine meal of them. John saw a few whales, and a booby tried roosting on our solar panel before I tipped him off. We encountered a strange convergence of currents, creating what we call "jumping waters" similar to something we saw north of Bahia de Los Angeles one year. After we were through that we saw a minefield of logs, some of them obviously trees. Fortunately those seemed to disappear before sunset.

Life is very slow on Nakia during passages. We concentrate on trying to get enough sleep, eating when we feel like it, and watching the world go by (very slowly). Ziggy sleeps and strolls the deck when it's calm enough. The noise of the engine has everyone's ears ringing, and Ziggy actually escaped to the cool and quiet of the sink in our forward head. I didn't think he could still fit, but he curled up tight and managed to squeeze in.

I don't think an hour goes by that we don't see one or more pieces of plastic garbage floating on the surface of the water - a milk crate, a styrofoam cup, plastic wrappers, bottle tops, and mostly bottles in all shapes and sizes.

Last night we heard a couple of small thunks meaning we probably hit two small pieces of wood in the dark.

We had a favorable current most of the night which is still with us this morning. Our top cruising speed is at 2,000 RPMs but in conservation mode we keep it at 1,800. With the help of the current we can cut this back to 1,700 and still make 5-6 knots over the ground. This is nice but a 10-12 knot sailing breeze out of the west would be even better!

Nautical miles covered: 130
Water Temp: 81-85 degrees (our Furuno LS-6000 fish finder, which we use as our depth sounder, went on the fritz this morning; everything but the water temp reading is fine, but we're getting water temps of 99 and 100 degrees now)
24 hours motoring, 0 hours sailing

Linda and John