Well it was very calm when I turned in, not drifting anywhere north or south, just being pulled east by the current. As predicted the wind started at about 05:00 coming from the SW. I had lost nearly a mile north so went on deck to see what was happening. Pulled in the para anchor and redeployed it, that slowed the northerly drift to a trickle. Went back to bed, checked a few times and we were holding our north south position. So just one of yesterday’s miles lost. I was expecting not to be able to row today, the wind being too strong from the south but funny thing is in the last hour the wind has moved to the west. I may be able to get 2 or 3 miles south and add to my buffer before the wind goes south. Just waiting for a squall to pass and I will see. It could also mean the forecast is wrong. The wind was supposed to come from the west yesterday but never did. Strange when it’s supposed to be swinging south that it moves higher west. Only time will tell, I’ll check in later.
Well tried rowing, benign as it looks when on PA the wind and swell are just too much combined to make a decent heading. I struggled to get close to 120 degrees. I’m drifting at just under 100 so the effort is not worth the reward. I’m also expecting the 12/15 knot wind about now. I’m drifting slightly south (and lots east) so it will have to do. I’ve also had a few squalls pass through and they can quite easily deceive you regarding wind strength and direction. One just finished now so half an hour I’ll know what action to take.
The wind for Monday that will help us is still in the forecast so that’s good. It’s the right direction but very light so won’t be that much help, at least it’s not against us. I’ve got to go at some point, may as well drift east crossing the ECC now then have to make it up later. I’ll consult mission control later today. As I’m turning in, Tony is usually up doing the forecast so it’s good to be a day closer with the information. He did warn me (us) things were unpredictable down here, hate to say it but he was right on the money, worst luck.
Sleeping with Sharks
The Wrights asked a couple of questions; have I seen much debris and it seems I’ve not seen as much wildlife as the Atlantic trip.
The first one is simple. I saw a lot of debris until I got south of Hawaii, from plastic bottles to large steel gas bottles. It was however noticeable that this changed as I got below Hawaii I saw nothing. This could be with all the NW current everything was being pulled that way or it could also be that most of the debris comes from Hawaii and activity in that area. There was a couple of weeks when I saw nothing and then in the last week I have seen some, not as much, again, this could be Christmas Island generated. We are a messy bunch, and I suspect some of our plastic will take years to sink.
On the wildlife front I’m not sure. On the Atlantic crossing I only had one Dolphin encounter, whereas I’ve had 4 or 5 here (can’t remember) and the bubble blowing encounter was spectacular. I did see whales on the Atlantic crossing, although it was only a few seconds which will stay will me a life time. There were a few whales about when I left SF but unlike last years failed attempt to get to Hawaii when I saw loads. I think the weather prevented this, this year. I did of course see sea lions and harbour seals as I left, the one mimicking fish was pretty cool. I did have both a swordfish and a big marlin following the boat on the Atlantic but after yesterday I would say we’re even on that score now. The shark encounter was really cool. I could have reached out and touched the big guy he was so close. I’ve also had the Dorado experience on this trip, two weeks company, very spectacular when they were catching breakfast around the boat and so cool to come out every morning to find them there. Then there was the tuna coming right up to the boat. I’ve had more bird life as well, the sea eagle roosting on the boat was amazing and the Albertross are really entertaining. You go long periods without seeing anything and then encounters are brief when you get them. Maybe it seems less because this is a much longer trip.
One thing I will say is the way you encounter all this wildlife is pretty special. You haven’t come looking for it, your not attracting it using bait, you just stumble across it. With the boat being so quiet and the wildlife not coming into contact with humans (the eagle is a great example). It’s just doing its thing and you are part of that for a brief moment. I’m sure to the sharks yesterday that I’m just some floating debris and in the same way the birds use me as a target or marker and the fish do the same. One of the things I forgot to do was to put the GoPro app on the iPad, so I have lots of footage that I can’t check out until I get back. Hopefully some of it will be useable. It’s quite difficult filming in the water under the boat, I have a real GoPro pole this time but your still not sure what you get.
Nearly 17:00 now
The nose of the boat is pointing due south on the compass, nose into swell so things are moving round, there will be no rowing south today.
Think Cheryl will post this early.
I’ll do messages and more for tomorrow.