I’m at the same Latitude as the BVIs. What I would give to be on Jost Van Dyke, posted up in front of the Soggy Dollar with an ice cold painkiller in my hand. I might as well be on a different planet.
I’ve entered the Easterly trades! Its east northeast, which will become more east as I head south. Then I’ll deal with the doldrums by the equator (ITZC), then as I get south of the equator the winds will turn from east to east southeast to southeast. Then I’ll have another horse latitude (I’m guessing there is one in the southern hemisphere) then the westerlies, and around the Horn I go. I’ve still got about 5,500 miles before the Horn. Still on time for a mid January rounding of Cape Horn.
I caught a Mahi some time back. Well, almost caught a Mahi. The fish didn’t fight until it was two feet from the boat then it jumped out of the water and off the hook. More power to him, I guess, the fish will live to see another day. Twice now I’ve had tuna right next to the boat but they ignore my lures. I bought a bow and arrow before I left and modified it for bow fishing. I woke up a few nights ago at 2 or 3am and went out to adjust the windvane. I looked down and with my headlamp saw a whole school of tuna around me. I rigged the bow but they were gone by the time I got back on deck. Now the bow is ready so If I see another tuna by St Brendan, I’ll shoot the little bugger.
Its been light winds mixed with nice 15-20kt winds mostly out of the east to north northeast. The temperature has been around 75-80 and with a light breeze its about prefect. The waters the most beautiful color of Blue and the clarity is incredible. Im going to get spoiled sailing these waters. I did have a bad squall hit me out of the blue five or so days back. I had my asymmetrical sail up and the wind picked up speed faster then I could drop the sail and my whisker pole bent severely. I need that pole to work so I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to repair it. I have a few ideas, I’ll figure out something. I tuned my rig the other day. My shrouds were down to 5% breaking strength so I brought them back up to 10% breaking strength. Then I decided they were to tight so I brought them back down to 8% and ill probably mess with them again today. Tuning a rig is more of an art then it is a science. I’ll just keep making minor adjustments until I’ve got the rig perfect. I also climbed my mast and did a full rig inspection. It looked good, but its hard to tell with stainless steel as it rots from the inside out.
Freighter traffic in the Pacific ocean is almost non existent compared to the Atlantic. I saw 6 or 7 freighters between the latitudes of LA and San Diego, but thats about it. Well, I did see part of a freighter yesterday. It was to far away so I only saw the wheel house infrastructure. I usually hate freighters, I consider them the cockroaches of the sea. There big, indestructible, and all over the place. In the Pacific I’ve seen so few of them I actually enjoy them. Its nice to know im not the only human out here.
Last summer when I left on this trip 46,000 people had died in Mexico since 2006 due to drug related violence. 19,000 in the last 16 months. So that means by the time I get back to Annapolis theres a good chance that more people will have died in Mexico over a six year period do to drug related violence then all the US soldiers who died in the Vietnam war(56,500). Crazy! Mexico is having a civil war, but its a new type of civil war. Its the cartels against everyone. Theres your random fact of the day.