Wednesday, May 16, 2007

May 16, 2007 - Enroute to Galapagos

Currently we are at 02 58 N and 79 31 W, close to the border of Columbia and Ecuador. We are beating to windward in 4 to 6 foot seas under leaden skies. The ride is much less comfortable than it was when we were motoring in no wind and flat seas.

Yesterday morning dawned bright, and we were pleased to have the wind build to a gentle 8 knots after two days of motoring. I did some laundry and made plans for bread baking in the afternoon. Sten landed several fish, including a mahi and an amber jack, which he fried up for lunch yesterday. One of his large hooks was straightened by billfish that got away and another lure simply vanished.

Expecting a light wind passage, we took down our working jib off the roller furler and replaced it with our 145% genoa. We had never had the genoa out of its bag before hoisting it.

We we both surprised by how much bigger it is than our working jib, which is now bundled on the side deck. The genoa is blown out and the draft is very far aft. As a result, we have to reposition the cars on the jib track rather far aft to use it. If we aren't very careful about keeping tension on the jib sheets, we will blow out a dodger window with a whipping jib sheet.

Our surprise at the size and shape of the jib turned to dismay when the skies turned dark and the wind built to 20 knots shortly after raising it. We immediately reefed it by furling it in, but its shape is terrible, so during the night we weren't able to get much closer to the wind than 60 degrees. We've now furled it all the way in. We've reverted to using our staysail and the main in anything more than 15 knots. We're underpowered, and our boat speed is slow, but our angle to the wind is better. It is the best we can do until the wind dies down enough to take down the genoa and put back up the working jib.

I just keep reminding myself that it wouldn't be an adventure if it was easy.

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