Around Alone Days-202-203 and the last 8-hrs and 49-minutes.
Total Miles sailed=25,147nm.
Miles sailed last 2+days=223nm.
Miles left to go =0
Top speed on trip=14.1kts..
24hr.Run=104nm. Pos. Lat.01*48’S Long.81*24’W. Weather=Bar=1007mb. Wind=4-8kts. S. Seas= 4-6ft. S. Cabin Temp=74*-78*
Today I find myself sailing in frustratingly light winds attempting to get to the finish line to seal “the deal”. I flew the spinnaker for 5-hrs until the winds became to fickle to keep it up.
I was amazed at the shipping traffic that I found “Sailors Run” in while sailing across the Gulf of Guayaquil. I had 20-targets on the A.I.S. all at once. At one point I thought we were going to become the “peanut butter when we found ourselves sandwiched in between 3 ships all within 4-miles of each other and going in different directions.
As night closed in on us the vessel traffic seemed to disappear and 30-miles off shore there appeared to be no fisherman. Now with the guard alarm that goes off if any ship approaches within 7-miles I was at last able to catch an hours sleep here and there.
24hr.Run=78nm. Pos.00*54’S Long.80*48’W. Weather=Bar=1004mb. Wind=0-10kts S. Seas=4-6 ft.S. Cabin Temp.=80-82*
The Last 8hrs and 49 minutes. Last miles =41nm.
Position anchored outside in open road stead anchorage. 00* 35′ S Long.80*27W..
I hope today will be the day we “close the deal” and arrive in Bahia.
I’m starting to feel very emotional as I look forward and watch “Patches” as she pulls along brandishing all her scars from the voyage, and behind me the “Monitor Wind Vane” chatters along as the pendulum shaft bounces up and down loosely in its frame work, yet still continuing to get the job done after all these thousands of miles.
The voyage now seems suddenly so real and nearly complete. A voyage that will probably be remembered long after I’m gone.
This night was to become a “nightmare” as I ended up sailing into one of the largest bunch of fishing panga’s I had ever seen.
They had more than 30-nets stretched out before me and my encounter with these fishing crews amounted to a lot yelling back and forth as I neared their nets. They of course were not aware that Sailors Run can sail right over a net as there are no appendages under the boat that can snag the net. A couple of times I was unable to sail around the nets and had to show them we could sail right over it. This was difficult to do with four or five fisherman yelling at you shining a bright light in your face from their “panga” that they would try to keep in front of your bow to ward you off and away from their nets.
I believe I was called some very bad names, but once they seen their net rise up clear of my stern unscathed they would become very quiet and power away.
Needless to say that by the next day I was becoming very exhausted and still had not made it to Bahia.
=The final hours of the voyage.=
Today with just 40-miles to go to wrap the voyage up I find myself in light air and up against a time dead line to finish in time to catch the high tide to get across the bar. I decided to continue steering after already having been at the helm all night, because I needed to sail as fast as possible in the light winds to make it in.
In the end it was not meant to be and I missed the tide by about 30-minutes. However, that didn’t stop Debbie from getting a panga and bringing me out not only one of the greatest hugs and kisses I have ever gotten but she had fried chicken,fries, and rum, not to mention some very much needed gallons of fresh clean drinking water.
This all put a nice ending to a colossal voyage and yet another night just short of the safety of a protected harbor.
Tomorrow late afternoon I will get across the bar and life can once again become a little less spontaneous and wild a change that I’m sure will fell just fine, at least for a “little while”.
Thanks to all of you for riding along, and just know that I appreciated all of your emails and the great support you have given me.