Monday, February 9, 2009

540 Nautical Miles to Ecuador

Late yesterday, we loaded the dinghy on the foredeck, took off the sail covers, and hoisted the Code Zero (our light air sail). Dave is going to dive into the deep locker this morning and get out the equipment to rig up our Monitor wind vane. We are going to practice with it on this trip, we hope.

The GRIB file this morning looks pretty good. A few more knots of wind would be better, but at least it's not too much wind. It looks like most of our passage will be a close reach. Our current winds seem about 5 knots out of the east

At 5 knots it would only take us 4.5 days, but we don't expect to average 5 knots. We will encounter some adverse current... we have to cross the Humboldt Current to get to coastal South America. We will be crossing the equator... going thru the dreaded 'doldrums'... an area of squally weather, and light and variable winds. We don't have enough fuel aboard to motor the whole way. So we may spend some time drifting along at 2-3 knots.

But we don't want to arrive on the weekend anyway, and 4.5 days would put us there late on Friday afternoon. And there is a 'bar' to cross on arrival. The most favorable time for us to cross will be next Monday morning, so we'll probably just target arrival for Monday morning, and try to sail as much as possible.

Our destination is Bahia de Caraquez in Ecuador, at approximately 00º35.8S 80º26.8W. You can read a little about the place here:

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