Blog Post 22 by Jon Sanders: I have cleared Galapagos
I have cleared Galapagos with Grandma and Grandpa (and me) sailing conditions.
My passage cleared to the north of the Galápagos Archipelago. Sailing on an obtuse angle, it was 3 days before I crossed the equator. (Nothing happened).
All the folks in the Old Testament, all the folks in the New Testament, all the folks in the Flat Earth Society they never knew there was an equator. The former were never told, and the latter don’t want to know about it.
If the likes of Galileo had told them there is one, they would probably have thought it would be the bleeding tipping edge of Earth itself. It isn’t. I know. I crossed the equator and never fell off the planet. I am still here! Pity some might say.
I crossed the equator and never fell off the planet…
Instead, I ran out of wind. Right there! (12 hours 3 to 5 knots). And the next several days there is not a lot. Though once in a while there is a rain squall (the doldrums are north of the equator).
A day or two later I sailed through a fleet of Chinese fishing boats. Each was approximately 200 feet long. I passed three of them quite near, plus a large mother ship or factory boat drifting with the wind. At one time I had nine on my AIS screen and passed two more of them later. Factory ship named Huan Yu 1 – 450 feet long.
In 1976 sailing my S&S34, Panama to Tahiti as I am now, I saw not one fishing boat, not one ship, nothing!
In 1990 in this very S&S39 I saw one or two fishing boats; 2011 and 2014 on the same S&S39, there was one fishing boat about every four days. I assumed they came from Chile or South America. If they had AIS they were not transmitting.
Now with AIS, this vast South Pacific seems to be a fishing pond. It might end up like Asia – more boats than fish. At least they all had their AIS on.
The next following few days I’ve seen nothing, nothing and nothing – all the way to the horizon and on the AIS.
For the most part of each day it is mild – pleasant. 12/15 knots wind, but also each day, usually at night, there are periods of not much wind. I start the motor and run at low revs, 1100 rpm (to conserve fuel).
This yacht is too small to be an oil tanker!
This being my 7th passage: Panama to Tahiti. But only in 1990 and this year, 2017, have the winds been so quiet. Maybe it will be the opposite the other side of French Polynesia.
The climate along this current track is nice.
The Peru current starts in the Antarctic waters and follows the South American coast northwards, then branches at the equator. It sweeps the Galápagos Islands, where penguins and seals can be found (aside from Iguanas and the rest), then onwards westward.
I just got an email on the iridium. (See how I spell iridium with a little i. So does iridium).
Paul Stratfold is now sending me waypoints to err me on more south for a period, to fetch the west going favourable current. He advises the wind will be quiet for the next several days.
He recommends I go fishing.
Hope all is good and well with everybody.