Date: Mar 21, 2014
08° 45' N 128° 00' W
Previous 24 hour run: 131nm
Water Temp: 82.4
Wind: NE 19. Boat: 6.5 @ 190T
Distance to go: 1356nm (Distance from the start adjusted to 2794nm, to be closer to reality.)
I've been out for ten days and four hours, and I'm now over half way there, by distance. The previous day's run (March 20th), over 24 hours, was 137nm. The previous two daily runs are a bit misleading, as both days have a big dog leg in the track when I would jibe. The boat is moving better than it appears from those numbers.
Its an obvious thing to say, but its getting hotter. The cabin temperature is now 80° with the humidity at 63%. Outside in the sun its starting to get a little intense. I'm so glad I took the time to make the sun covers for the cockpit. The sun is moving north every day and is currently just north of the equator, as I type, 28' north. Yesterday was the equinox, with the sun moving from the southern to northern hemispheres. I expect to cross underneath the sun next week. At the moment, the sun, at its highest point is 81° above the horizon, so not quite directly overhead yet.
Two days ago I was heading generally SW when I decided that I wanted to take myself further west before crossing the ITCZ. The wind where I am right now is really good, so I'm taking advantage of it. The wind currently appears to be lighter than this south of the equator. This morning, just after sunrise I jibed and have started to head more directly south again.
From this morning's weather reports, the ICTZ is currently at around 5N south of where I am. The wind has been forecast to be good as I approach 5°, with around 14kts of grib wind (usually more in reality) on the 23rd at 5° from 069T. That seems to suggest the ITCZ moves slightly south at that point, otherwise there would be more east in the wind...? The following 12 hour forecast shows the ITCZ moving north with east winds in the area and much lighter, and light from there on as I move south. There is a chance that I may be able to meet the ITCZ at around 4N and have it then start heading north as I head south, and we'll cross each other. The grib forecasts are pretty granular - the ITCZ may not be reflected well in them, but I like what I see and there is a chance I may be able to squeak though without too much bobbing around. I like what I see well enough to not change anything, just keep plowing through as fast as is relatively comfortable.
The boat is moving well in the 19-25 knot winds we've had over the last few days. By moving well, I mean making good speed. The boat is rolling, pitching, and yawing as she moves up and down the waves that are coming from several directions. The cockpit is no longer a salt water free environment, plenty of waves have crashed aboard. Moving around the cabin has to be done carefully. But these are great sailing conditions, and this passage is looking good.
Everything is well onboard.
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