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Sunday, May 05, 2013

Day 18 & 19, ITC & ECC, Y U B So Hard on Me.

Sunday Noon

Friday night wasn't so bad. Even though it was clear that we were well inside the ITCZ there was much less lightning than Thursday night so we were able rest better.

It did, however, rain very much but by early Saturday morning it was clear we were going to come out of it and start to get a taste of the South East Trade winds.

Or would we? Some time around Friday evening we seemed to have entered the ECC, or Equatorial Counter Current. This is a narrow band of water that flows East, against the prevailing wind usually near the ITCZ. Our destination lies to the South West, and it seems the ECC is flowing East North East, meaning that we are heading almost directly into the current. Our hourly speeds, while not stellar before, have dropped to the 2.9-3.7 mile per hour range. This was when we were motoring and normally do 5.5 mph or better!

On top of that, the wind is from the South South East. So the best course we can manage is West South West. In order for us to get out of this current we have to go South. In the last 33 hours we have only been able get an additional 60 miles South.

It will all resolve itself eventually. We will inch our way out of the ECC and, as we get farther South, the wind will back into the East making our final days nothing but glorious sailing in wonderful tropical breezes. A perpetual sunset off our bow. Yeah, right.

{GMST}04|48|N|128|00|W|Mexico to Marquesas Day 19|Day 19{GEND}