Day 1. Hunting the trade winds

Distance traveled in first 24hrs: 165nm (all motor)
SOG: 7knots VMG: 7knots
Bearing: 234 deg COG: 234 deg
Wind: 0-4 knots south. Location: S 02′ 31.834, W 092′ 21.223. (http://share.delorme.com/greencoconutrun)

Glassy seas all day and night. Since leaving Galapagos, Aldebaran is cruising along at 7+knots, aided by a favorable 0.5-1.3 knot current, and Mr. Isuzu our diesel engine. Our next waypoint is a long way away: Ducie Atoll, in the western edge of the Pitcairn Island Group, is 2473 nautical miles, bearing of 234 deg (south-west).

It is odd to point the boat into the open ocean, heading to some tiny island. But the atavistic pull is strong… Many of our ancestors have sailed these oceans and our blood has those memories engraved. “Somewhere to the south are the trade winds”. My memory banks tingle happily at this thought.

According to the wind charts (eg. passageweather.com) the trade winds fully fill in around 5 degrees South, which is 300 miles away. However, “puffs” of SE wind push up toward the Galapagos. We are hoping to find one of these puffs in the next 12-24 hrs, perhaps 200nm south of the Enchanted Isles.

We anticipated this doldrum and brought 25 extra gallons of diesel in cheap jerry cans to help us make it to the trades. These are the times we feel fortunate to have a good diesel engine.

Yet, there is always an obstacle to challenge one’s determination at the beginning of a new project.

30 miles from the harbor, with Isabela and Floreanna Islands to either side, the engine alarm went off. Brrrrrrreeehhhh!!!!! Wait, isn’t this a replay of our departure from Bahia Caraquez??

The engine temperature was overheating… Instantly I shut off Mr. Isuzu and saw the alternator / coolant circulation belt had snapped. I sweated buckets shuffling between wrenches and keeping my arms from touching the 200 degree engine. Who needs a sauna??

Thankfully Mr. Isuzu has a spacious engine room in Aldebaran – the envy of most sailboats under 50ft. One hour later we were back underway, grateful to have all the spare parts, including some extra washers to better align the alternator bracket, which was the culprit of the premature breakage.

Our first sunset of the passage was glorious with a rising full moon in the east. All night, the ocean was silky smooth.

The sky out here feels distinctly clean, like a quartz crystal, with sharp, twinkling lines.

4 thoughts on “Day 1. Hunting the trade winds

    • Pls inform Michael that I (Charlie Clampitt) am following with your Bog with great admiration and excitement…….

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