Doldrums – What doldrums?

Day 2 and the wind strength has surprised us, especially in these latitudes renowned for very light winds – or none at all. The forecast we picked up yesterday showed that winds of 20 -25 knots from the NE were expected in the area that we were sailing in. We therefore put in a reef in the main before dusk, only to watch the wind decrease, so out came the reef! By midnight the reef was back in again, and by 0300 a second reef, the genoa totally furled and the staysail set. We continued to sail at up to 8 knots over the ground. Only late this morning did the 2nd reef come out, and it now looks as if we are going to be blessed with these winds for a while longer.

The last 24 hours has produced a day’s run of 180 nm. But the fishing gear has stayed firmly in the locker awaiting calmer conditions. Marine life has been sparse – just a school of porpoises playing in the distance just after dawn this morning.

We are also surprised at how damp and chilly the nights are, very different from the Atlantic. With 2-3 light layers on top, and a warm pair of shorts as well, we do our night watches of 3 hours on and 3 hours off. Have so far resisted the temptation to don a fleece!

We report in to the Pan Pacific net each morning, and get weather reports from other cruisers heading for the Galapagos, and their positions. Party time beckons when we arrive! Today we had confirmation that our agent Bolivar will have our autografo ready when we get to the islands. The autografo or cruising permit entitles us to visit San Cristobal, Islabella and Santa Cruz.

No doubt our time of sailing at 2kn is still to come as we get nearer to the Equator. But the Doldrums are a moving feast, so we’ll see!

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