Welcome to the doldrums. The last days we were dancing the edge of the ITCZ going straight west and avoided the calm wind area known in these waters. We could see the clouds forming south of us. The wind was favourable to do so and we made very good west. Today we decided to change course, jibed and headed south, straight into the clouds.
It didn’t take long before the first rain appeared, just a little drizzle no big deal and we still had some decent NE wind but this would only be the beginning..
The InterTropical Convergence Zone, or ITCZ or Doldrums or whatever sailors came up naming it, is the area between the two major wind systems. The NE trade winds of the north Pacific and the SE trades winds of the south Pacific. It’s the zone where meteorologist have to work overtime. Mostly calm winds with lots of small rain cells. But loaded with energy these squalls can challenge every sailor. This is the hard part of the trip and we knew that.
For the last days we flew the spinacker but had to take it down after it got tangled up and formed an hourglass so this morning we were busy untangling it and putting it back up, when we recognized the steaming light was loose. I needed to go up and fix it. I always love to get up the mast while sailing and with the spinacker set it’s even better. To see the boat moving through the water from almost a birds view amazes me every time. What a sight.
I just got myself and the tools back down when the next rain cloud steered right towards us. This time I could see more rain and what’s more important, more wind in it. All hands!! Spinacker down. I wasn’t sure how much wind we were facing so better safe than sorry. No big deal. I had just said this when the wind shifted and the spinacker collapsed. No big deal either, but unfortunately it must have hit something which it shouldn’t and we teared a cut into it the size of a coconut. Shit! How did that happened? The squall reached us faster than I thought and we just got the big red sail down when the rain set in. So good to have 10 hands ready to work and windows were closed and the cushions thrown into the dodger in no time. Let’s get wet!!
We all took a nice fresh water shower, Juan even got his shampoo out and ZERO could wash off some of the salt she collected the last 20 days. It didn’t last long, just a quick 5 minutes rain and the show was over. But now there was no wind.
Man we got pushed around like a cork with the confused sea of at least two major swell directions and the leftovers of the windswell. Time for the iron Genoa to start working. We haven’t fired up the motor since we left Isla Clarion over a week ago. I’m so happy we actually have a motor and by just pushing a button we were making 6 knots again. How bad must it have been in the former days when you had to sail all the way for days or even weeks? Changing sails and course multiple times a day and only making a few miles towards your destination. I know actually a friend who’s just crossed without a motor. Wow..
I stopped counting how many more squalls hit us the rest of the day but ship and crew are clean now! Best part of the story is that there are no more leaks!! Yeah folks and owner of other leaky teakys.. you heard right. NO LEAKS! All the hard work pays out now and even though humidity is pretty high, it’s dry inside!!
The forecast says we have to face these conditions for the next 200 nm, so around two days before we find the SE trades. Two days motoring or who knows how many days sailing..
We keep you posted.. Aloha Christian
Sent from the Ocean.

One thought on “SunsetNews Day 20

  1. Pretty sure a cannon ball went through your spin sail. Ghost Pirates!
    Love you guys!

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