Loading Map

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rainy day

We noticed a change in the weather day before yesterday (I'm writing this on my Tuesday night watch) when the clouds really rolled in by late afternoon and the air became even more humid than usual. Monday it was cloudy all day and when I woke up this morning for my 0400 watch it was raining. John said that at one point the rain was coming down so hard that the drops pelting the ocean excited the bioluminescence in the water and created a glow over the entire surface. It rained practically non-stop the whole day and didn't let up until a few hours ago.

Rain like this usually means no wind so we've been motoring since after noon. The flatter seas and slower speed (plus rain washed decks!) gave John a chance to really walk around the boat checking on things. His inspection turned up two broken sail slides at the top of the main and a missing bolt in the dodger frame. Fortunately he had saved the slides from the old sail and was able to replace the failed plastic ones with our old stainless steel ones. He remembered seeing those top two slides when we got the new sail and thinking they really needed to be SS or bronze and not plastic, and unfortunately he was proved right. He found a temporary bolt to fit the dodger frame and we were back in business. In the meantime he had also gotten a good soaking from the rain which gave me the idea to get out there with a bar of soap for a rain bath of my own. Too bad we didn't get the new rain catcher sewn before we left because we'd also have full water tanks again by now.

Ziggy doesn't like the noise of the engine (who does?) so he's retreated to a spot on top of all our junk stowed in the Pullman berth. He doesn't look very comfortable and I think he's also a little mad because there are no flying fish on a calm night like tonight. Last night he flew out to the cockpit in time to get a small one in his mouth before I could get to it. But I got him on his leash tethered to the binnacle and wouldn't let him below. So it was just a matter of waiting him out before he finally dropped it and I snatched it away with the metal salad tongs and threw it overboard. John thought that was pretty mean, but at least he got the thrill of the catch if not the actual meal.

This rain means we're probably in the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) now, even though it wasn't forecast to reach higher than 5 degrees North at the moment. But it's a slippery thing and moves with a will of it's own so you're never quite sure where you're going to actually run into it (or how long it's going to last...). Because of the upcoming equatorial counter current we're waiting until we get to 3 degrees North and 140 West before we make our turn to the south. That's one of those sailing strategies/decisions that John's been agonizing over, and we'll just have to hope that all the book references about it and prognostications are in our favor.