Sunday, March 23, 2014

Leg 2: Las Perlas to the Galapagos

We had a beautiful start to the second leg of the circumnavigation. The winds were light so spinnakers and genakers were flying. It was a sight to behold: the gentle breeze, the colorful sails and a narrow start line! The countdown began and the shoots were hoisted – and we were off!

The START of Leg 2
This passage is known for its lack of wind so we were all strategizing to find the most wind for the longest periods of time. We used Jimmy Cornell’s cruising guides to plan our course. Instead of following the rhumb line, we went south until we turned southwest. Actually, there is a strong westerly current so unless you are motoring, it is difficult to go straight south. (Oh, did I mention that Nick was disappointed when he realized it is not a RUM line!)

Nick and Dennis were also the champs when it came to catching tuna. They caught three in a matter of 45 minutes! I am still looking forward to a Wahoo or MahiMahi.
The START was very crowded, but after 30 hours we
saw no one in person and after 48 hours we saw very
few of the fleet boats on the AIS screen.

I have to say we were so pleased to have Nick sail with us as he had never been on the boat. He learned a lot, became proficient at a number of sailing skills and provided great humor! He and Jack had the most interesting discussions that challenged logic on all levels. It made for some good laughs.

The third tuna!
Dennis did a great job of charting our course and we sailed most of the passage when other boats were motoring. We only had 30 some engine hours out of the 7 days. Unfortunately, some of those came when we were herded north and east by a fishing boat. We think it was one of the illegal ones with 2 mile long lines out fishing without any lights on.

Real on the job training for Nick!
This experience resulted in another night of screaming in Spanish. We could only make out that he wanted us to go north and east. Of course, we wanted to south and west! Even with Nick’s limited Spanish and our Spanish for Cruisers book, we did not know what he was saying. When we asked a simple question, he went off on a screaming fit, repeating himself over and over. Obviously, if we didn’t understand him the first time, we were not going to understand him with his many repetitions. We think he was telling us he would be fishing there until Friday as if we were going to sit and wait for him to finish!

A great week of family time for all of us.
Since he had no navigational lights we couldn’t tell which direction he was going or where the lines were. We think he was trying to tell us there were some flags in the water to mark the boundaries. Good luck as it was late at night and we couldn’t see anything except his white spotlight aimed at us as he came toward us! We were literally “run out of town” by this vessel. If you look at our track you may think we had been into the rum at sea! Unfortunately, this episode caused us to lose a lot of time and 15 extra miles out of our way. We had been on a good run to the finish line prior to this incident.

Crossing the Equator! Woo Hoo! We made it!
Nick was our hero throughout the Spanish speaking islands. Dennis and I have limited Spanish and would never have make it through the many challenges of shopping, dining and navigating without his help! He and Daphne had free time to enjoy many tours and hikes on three of the islands we visited. And we loved having Nick with us. Sure do miss his giggle!

I tried using the self-timer and jumped into the picture. It
looks more like I have had too much bubbly and am
falling off the seat! Oh, well!
After this incident, we lost our enthusiasm even for the crossing of the equator. No costumes of Neptune on the Captain! We did celebrate with champagne (Spanish Brut, to be exact) and a group photo. Somehow in the rush to get out of the house and onto the boat, I wasn’t thinking about costumes for various occasions as we celebrate around the world. We will just be the fuddy-duddies!

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