Day 14

It’s starting to get hot

It’s 86 degrees in the cockpit shade right now as we continue to motorsail under main, jib and a single engine. We are now on a 215 course magnetic heading towards the Marquesas. The sea is pretty flat with 1 foot waves and a 1-2 foot swell. The wind is blowing 7 knots form the east. We have the fishing lines in but doubt we’ll catch anything because we’ve stopped seeing birds or flying fish. Why would anyone want to live here in the doldrums?

From a distance perspective, we’re cooking! Our noontime position is 00.10 n 128.44 w, which puts us 10 miles due north of the equator. We’re currently proceeding at a speed of 8.5 knots and knocked off 182 miles in the last 24 hours. Hiva Oa is now only 859 miles away, and that number will drop by 1 with every additional mile we cover. San Diego is increasingly becoming a distant memory, with 2058 distant miles and 2 weeks of sailing behind us.

We’ve been running one motor at a time @ 2400 RPM for 43 hours now, and both tanks are still way over half full. From my perspective, we can continue at this 180-mile-day motorsailing pace for a few more days based on our fuel capacity, but the easterly trade wind should increase by tonight, so hopefully that won’t be necessary.

We’ll pass the equator in less than 2 hours. Needless to say, Sophie is a happy boat.

Last night was full of weather action. Our radar screen was lit up with large, intense rain showers from 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM, and we were able to avoid all of them except two. That’s OK because they combined to dump an inch of rain on us, thoroughly decrusting Sophie of her 2 weeks of salt buildup on deck.

Dan and Hazel are baking bread right now. Jenna is giving Leo a spelling test. Rich is about to make turkey and cheese paninis for lunch. Last night’s Irish one pot meal was a big hit, especially the fresh cabbage from San Diego. (Remember that place?) Tonight for dinner we’ll go back to yellowfin tuna. It will be three days old, but who said this was a luxury cruise?

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