Day 3 … As predicted, the wind continued to blow and we found that we were having to sail the angles, gybing every few hours, and then the wind changed direction again and we decided to run due south for Isla Malpelo. This also took us across the Doldrums, or to give it its formal name, the ICTZ (Inter Tropical Conversion Zone) in the shortest possible time.
Shortly after lunch yesterday, we altered course for the Galapagos, taking us south of the island. All went well until wind went round to the south east during the night, and then died, leaving Pipistrelle being buffeted by waves from all directions, and not doing the rig any good at all. At 03.30 we decided to motor out of it using some of our precious fuel and this morning after about 5 hours, were able to set twin headsails, both poled out. With the wind dead aft, we have been able to resume what should be our direct course to the Galapagos at a more leisurely pace than yesterday. So it’s catch up time on lots of things that are ignored when the seas get exciting.
Allowing for the course alteration around Isla Malpelo, we achieved a respectable daily run of 149 nm, and we are hoping to be able to carry this rig until tomorrow morning, when the wind is forecast to begin moving towards the south east.
By the way, Isla Malpelo is a tiny island south of Panama and as far as we know provides nothing other than a point to be avoided and a useful waypoint for sailors.
Time to get the fishing line out again – it hasn’t seen daylight for 48 hours!