Friday, April 6, 2012

Peaceful Day on the Pacific - Day 17

We passed through a rather nasty looking ITCZ front of thick clouds, wind, rain and then total calm on Wednesday night and in the early hours of Thursday morning.

During the calm period, Chris turned on the iron jenny and we motored for about an hour. We called in our crew, Frankenpilot, to steer us but he packed it in immediately, feigning sick. Upon examination, it was found that old Frankie had swallowed some water during the squalls and it had gone the wrong way - into his electronic board. We undressed him and laid him out to dry out overnight while our newest recruit from West Marine, Stevie 2000, subbed in.

There was light at the end of the tunnel around 5am as a steady 3-4 Knot SE wind came up and we put up a full jib and main to push us along at 3 Knots. This light breeze continued throughout the day. The boat rolled a bit due to swells from the north and northwest but we put up the cockpit awning and relaxed "upstairs" under it's shade. The fresh breeze tickled the skin and Ladybug settled into an easy pace for the day.

I wished for dolphins and sent out telepathic messages. They appeared in droves. Well, at first there was a recce party of about eight. Then there were splashes and sleek bodies leaping out of the water everywhere for about a mile out. And they were headed our way!

Between 50 to 100 striped dolphins swam, dived and jumped all around Ladybug for about forty minutes. We encouraged them by filming and cheering them on. What an afternoon!

As predicted, we did not set any records this day, gaining only 101 miles over 24 hours. Our position at 1430 Zulu on April 6 was N 01 56 and W 130 27. After a strategy consult with our friend Mark on s/v Southern Cross, we changed our course from due south for the equator to 210 degrees true for Hiva Oa, 935 nautical miles out, so we cannot report the distance made good.

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