We've been followed by what we think is a red-footed booby or some kind of a frigate bird although our bird book hasn't made it certain. It's actually amazing that 500 miles off shore there are still birds. I wonder if he knows he's going to the South Pacific? I wonder if that will mess up the ecosystem there? I've named him Ruby (as in Ruby the Booby). A bit corny, yes. But what else is there to do but be silly. He's pretty cute, except that he hangs out and sleeps at the edge of our solar panel which is just above our dinghy raised on the davits; in other words, he's pooping all over the dinghy chaps.
We are not alone out here. Fifteen boats checked into the Puddle Jump Net this evening, sharing lat/long locations and weather and sea conditions. One boat has decided to turn back due to engine troubles but is hopeful to come back out within the week to try again.
The weather reports have never meant so much. A friend on land sent us weather reports he's found and interpreted to add to our own grib files and forecasts (thanks Ethan!). Our routing as we set out was to follow the rhumbline in a southwest direction to 5 degrees north 125 degrees west and then turn south to head across the ITCZ at it's narrowest point. From the weather reports, it now appears that we should be westing a lot more at first to catch up to the trade winds sooner, and then go south. We've since changed our course to coincide with this new information. The next few days will show lighter winds but some confused seas.
Our stats from the last 2 days:
Distance: 159 miles; Total trip: 319 miles
Average Speed: 6.6 knots; Average overall speed: 6.6 knots
Sea Conditions: Calmer; 4-6 foot waves; overcast most of the day; NNW winds about 10-15 knots
Incident Report: Michael had rigged up a cable to the lazy shroud to take some of the pressure off the mast but it snapped. No big deal; he fixed it on Day 3. We hooked a shark who ran off with our good lure. No wonder our next stat is zero.
Fish caught: zero
Produce Inventory: We lost one mango to spoilage.
Meals/Snacks: Breakfast was fresh squeezed orange juice and sauteed soyrizo, onion, green pepper and potatoes; morning snack was mango; Lunch was leftover chicken stirfry and lemon lentil soup; Dinner was pasta with sauteed tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, capers and olives with ceasar salad.
Distance: 157 miles; Total trip: 476 miles
Average speed: 6.5 knots; Average overall speed: 6.6 knots
Sea conditions: pleasant seas; sun coming out and feeling a bit warmer; NNW to NNE winds 10-15 knots.
Incident Report: Electric winch decided to go on on its own. Michael turned off the circuits and cleaned them out. It looks like there was a short due to moisture inside. He also re-rigged the cable supporting the port side shroud. I got doused by a wave through a side hatch as I was admiring the beauty of the sea and getting some air down below. Rude awakening.
Fish caught: Zero
Produce inventory: All still fine. I spend part of my overnight watches going through each piece. What else is there to do? Looks like I may have overstocked on avocados as they are all going ripe at the same time.
Meals/Snacks: Sauteed peppers and onions in tortillas with beans and guacamole for breakfast; Banana muffins and grapes for morning snack; Feta and tomato salad over spinach for lunch; banana & strawberry smoothie for PM snack; Pre-made chicken chili with steamed broccoli and whole wheat couscous for dinner.
At 4/13/2011 02:04 (utc) our position was 16°32.92'N 112°34.24'W
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