Sailors Run’s Passage from Chiapas,Mexico to Bahia Caraquez,Ecuador. Days-4-5-6, April 2015.
Day-4-24hr. Run= 147 NM. Weather, wind- ESE 15-25kts. Seas 8-10ft. Cabin temp 78*-91*.
Day-5-24hr. Run=136 NM. Weather, wind- ENE 5-15kts. Seas 5-6ft.Cabin temp 78*-88*.
Day-6-2hr.Run=63NM. Weather-Wind -0-12kts. Seas 3ft. Swell from the South. Cabin Temp,-88*-95*
Top speed for the trip so far=9.3kts.
Total distance sailed so far=676NM.
The Rest of the story:
Day -4 Brought us our strongest winds and sea conditions so far, and consequently our best mileage day so far as well. We were joined by hundreds of spinner dolphins that were putting on quite a show for us in the turbulent seas that surrounded us aboard Sailors Run as we were reefing the main. The night time temperatures are much lower now dropping to 78* at night.
Day-5 The winds dropped down a bit and we had our nicest sail of the passage so far. A couple of interesting things happened on this day; one was a swallow that kept trying to land on our boat that finally came to roost under the dodger on my tennis shoe. The swallow looked totally exhausted and had no problem with me holding a cap full of water up to him so he could have a drink; I was surprised when he declined my offer as it seemed that possibly he needed something much stronger. Soon the bird had ruffled up his plumage and was sound asleep, seeming never to be the slightest bit concerned as Debbie and I passed within twelve inches of him every time we entered or exited the boat.
The next day I noticed the swallow looked much more alert and had straightened out his plumage and was obviously readying his self for flight. I gathered up a larger bowl of water that he once more declined and then without so much as a peep he flew out from under the dodger on a bee-line for China not even doing a fly-by or appearing to look back. I can only hope he can refuel in flight or finds a freighter heading his way before he drops from the sky.
The second interesting thing was our encounter with a huge ship during the night. We now have AIS.(A collision avoidance system on board] The AIS shows all vessels that have an AIS transmitter and gives there course speed and usually the name of the ship and how close it will come to you, as well as its size and in some cases its destination,
Debbie spotted the ship 37-miles out and noted that our courses were converging and alerted me. I was not very concerned as he was far away and would see that I was under sail. I became a little more concerned when at 10-miles he was still bearing down on Sailors Run. When he was at 6-miles and still bearing down on us I put out a” Security, Security” call stating the name of our vessel, our position course and speed. I also stated his position course and speed and explained that we needed to talk, but I had no ships name.
After about 3-calls like this suddenly lots more info about the ship shows on the AIS including the name. So I transmit the fourth call calling Glory-One and at last there is an answer. The person running the ship asks how he can help? I say can you see us and what are your intentions are? He assures me that he will stay clear of me and asks if I want to pass port to port or starboard to starboard, I choose Port to Port as that makes it easy for me to fall off the wind a little helping us to clear each other.
I thanked him and was much relived when I seen him alter course a few degrees to give us a miss as Debbie really wasn’t really in the mood for company or abandoning ship!
Day-6 found us becalmed and motoring for awhile during the day. I had had an encounter with a pair of “Boobies” on our first day out and not only were they showing up frequently but now 5-days later I was still not comfortable about the way they had affected my serenity, and the love of sailing, but also conditions were right to once again assume the position and shake the tangle out of my baggy wrinkle.
Did I mention the pair of “Boobies” were a couple of sea birds that were trying to land on my spreaders and when one did, I took the spinnaker halyard and gave him a snap on the rear end that set him immediately into flight. I thought I had won until the slack in the halyard went out past the spreaders and took a double wrap around two of my “baggy wrinkles” above the spreader and locked itself into the stay. “Shit”.!!
Now on day six Debbie hoisted me up the mast in rolling seas to free the entangled halyard using the anchor winch to hoist me up. Soon the halyard was cleared and we would be able to hoist the much needed spinnaker on that side of the boat.
I made out with just a few bruises and looked very much forward to an ice cold drink to quench my thirst. Deb got some great pictures as well which we will put on the blog later
We hoisted the spinnaker and ran it through the night in the weakest of winds doing from 0.7kts to 4kts. Debbie showed her spinnaker trimming skills as she babysat the spinnaker tightening and slacking it as need be, just to try and get it to fill, after three hours of that you are definitely ready to be spelled from watch,as your neck hurts from looking up for hrs.
It is truly wonderful to have our SSB Radio to communicate everyday our position, etc to Nets that can hear us as far away as Puerto Vallarta,Panama, Hawaii as well as chat with our sailing friends for conversation.
We also heard that a sailing vessel sailing to the South Pacific 1,000 miles out had lost its forestay, and had sent out a Mayday, they have put out there sea anchor to keep them in place and now there is a sailing schooner 203 ft called Althos of London to rescue them, we heard everyone on board is doing fine, and were hoping that somehow the boat can get fixed to continue their journey
I thought of something else that someone might be able to help me find. I’m looking for some good foul weather gear for my upcoming Round the World Voyage and it seems like the cheapest decent stuff I see out there costs about 600 dollars on up. It would seem there must be a web site somewhere that sells decent gear for less; any info would be greatly appreciated. “Thanks”
You’re Amigos,(on a Slow Boat to Ecuador)-Jeff & Debbie