Day 589 [May 14/10] -- Back west of the Galapagos

Today's Report
May 14/10 0800 JST / 1700 local

00°47'S, 92°42'W (just west of Galapagos Islands)

Everything proceeding well under "beautiful skies" on almost flat seas as he made 131 nm for the period.

The current is favorable and steady at a bit over 1 kt from the east, and is beginning to turn up to the north as he heads further west. This added about 25 nm to his daily DMG.

Winds were very weak for much of the day but later began to strengthen moderately out of the S and SSE at about 9 kts for a heart-gladdening beam reach. With the relatively flat (0.5 to 1.0 m) seas and favorable current, he should enjoy near-perfect sailing conditions for at least the next day or two.

The newly repaired hydraulics are working very well, he reported. He said that the overheating he had been experiencing with the autopilot drive unit had completely gone away. During the time of the hydraulics leak as he turned back to the Galapagos he said he had been cooling the control unit down by applying water-soaked towels to it as many as six times a day. Now it is completely cool to the touch. The leak is gone but he's still having to cope with slippery surfaces where he has not been able to completely clean up the released hydraulic fluid.

He cleared Isla Isabella, the furthest west of the island group, earlier in the day. "It's now really beautiful, the skies are really beautiful," he said, as the sun neared the western horizon. Asked if it was already sunset, he answered "No, I think it's 5 pm, and the sun is still out."

It's easy to be uncertain about the local time -- time zone changes tend to occur quickly for vessels heading on a direct westerly course. But he's also back to his own patented sleep-wake cycle: two hours of sleep, waking, checking the sails, heading and horizon, then going back to sleep for another two hours. That's his typical night, and even during the day he catnaps off and on depending on the sea conditions. 

Boat traffic has been his main concern but where he is heading is well off the normal ship traffic lanes with the next possible port in the Hawaiian Islands, about 3,800 nm distant. The stretch in between is one of the most isolated parts of the world.

Distance in last 24 hours: 131 nm
Heading: 275
Reported boat speed: 5.0 kts
Average boat speed: 5.5 kts
Weather: Clear
Temperature: 25.0° C
Barometer: 1002 hPa (steady)
Wind (from): 8-9 kts, S expected to be 9-10 kts SSE for next 19 hours
Waves: 1.0 meters
Current (from): E at 1.0 - 1.3 kt, turning to from SE (favorable)
Engine: 9.0 hrs, 1800 rpm
Generator: 3.0 hrs
Sails: Genoa 100%, staysail 0%, mainsail 1-pt reef

Position Map