Search This Blog

Monday, June 27, 2011

Through the ITCZ (Doldrums)

Ship's Log

Lat 04 degrees 09 minutes North

Lon 135 Log 55 minutes

Better to be lucky on the open Ocean.

Good morning Readers from Billy aboard Terrwyn Located Lat 04 degrees 50 min N Long 135 degrees 43 min W

Course 180 True Speed 5.6

The breeze has continued to veer from the E to definitely SE as has the swell now coming on the bow from the SE.

This is almost too good to be true!! WE suspected for the last couple of days it was happening but after the scare stories of the NE Pacific Hurrican Zone(which we had to cut the tail off) or becalmed for days in the ITCZ, we were quiet about our progress. Both the hurrican zone and the ITCZ are north of the Equator but how far North?

The hurricane season officially starts in June but here we are as the Northen Gales off Washington coAST diminished in May- compromise was made. There was a reasonable low east of us (and the Pacific High to the NW) as we approached 13 degrees N and sped us through the ITCZ with three days runs around 100 miles/day and only a few hours calm with overcast showers. Definitely no hurrican nor ColDeridge's calm of the Doldums Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Water, water everywhere etc.). Well, we were lucky and it was the ITCA,AND we are through all of the above: cold, northern storms, the NE hurrican area (and season) and now the Doldrums... YAHOO! And it is on the bow but blowing 15 out of the SE and we can soon "fall off" a touch and set a course SSW for the Marquesas at 9 degrees S 139 degrees W.

So much fun and a treat to witness.

Co-cap cath now adds her two bits worth!

We are now within 300 miles of the Equator and I am wondering how we need to dress for the occasion!! Casual, formal, dressup as sea and wind gods??? What is a girl to do when things are not clearly outlined for the occasion!! Also regarding the tenuous ITCZ - In fact I really think it is necessary for a global committe to be struck regarding how best to mark things like the ITCZ - where are the border lines...? I mean if they can do it for american ice hockey why not this very important segment of the Pacific Ocean. Here's another thing our BB (Blog Boy) could take up = as a leader of a large school we know he has the talent to make this happen (especially now that a leisurely time is just around the corner!! Yeah right... hey Gord???

Anyway back to crossing the equator... we have Mike's champagne on ice (well not exactly... more like resting on the icebox unit) and no matter what time of the day or night that we sail over 00 degrees 00 minutes latitude we will be cracking it open!! We're hoping it might be July 1st so it will be especially special for us Canadians!! OK, here's another question for all you brilliant minds and great imaginations... we both are "equator virgins" and we call ourselves... sailors... what special name should we be addressed as once we do the equator (as it were!)?? I'm thinking perhaps "Equatorians"?? Any other ideas?? (Oh boy, I've really opened up a can of worms now I know!! Have fun with it!).

All day yesterday and last night we have had one very boisterous rain storm after another roll over us (some of them have included torrential rains which has provided us with a bit more fresh water for our irregualar bath times (yesterday we had to have our showers in the cockpit as it was so rocky rolly that the front deck was not a temptation for us - think huge waves washing over the bow and further on a regular basis. Oh wow!!... We just had one break over the beam as I've been writing this and it was like someone took a bucket of salt water and dumped it down the companionway and onto our stove!! Now after mopping it all up we will let the stove dry and see if it will work again!

On another topic... This one is for our friend Magnus Murphy - We have been very safety conscious and wear our harnesses snapped onto lifelines at all times!! In fact Bill is in the cockpit right now and is hooked onto both the port and starboard jacklines (we heard you loud and clear, Magnus! Thanks for the reminder!!)...

Oh yes and how can I forget our biggest news so far???? Yesterday as I was on watch in the cockpit and Bill was trying to get a much needed nap below decks... I heard a huge TWANGGGG!! and looked aft to our fishing line was out taut and as I looked at the end of the line about 2 boat lengths behind us I saw a silver object (about 3 feetlong thrashing about in the waves. Oh my gosh!! Finally we have caught a fish!! I yelled down to Bill and as soon as he heard the word FISH he was up that companionway like a shot!... as I dug out the gaff Bill played the fish (tuna) bringing it up to the port side of the stern. I handed him the gaff and he nicely brought it into the cockpit. It was thrashing around and blood everywhere but I just had to get this on video so down I went to get the camera and brought it back up to shot some footage of the happy fisherman and his catch!! Now this is where ratings will need to come in play - as you can imagine with the temps being so high and humidty right up there too and no ships around we tend to go around with nothing covering us!! Need I say more?? This bit of footage will need to be R18 rated for viewing! I just couldn't seem to get a shot without certain body parts getting into the frame!! OK enough said... we also got a number of great still photos with only the fish :-) As soon as we gave our fishy a slurp of our good rum (that supposedly stops the thrashing... hmmm... I might have been too stingy with our rationed rum as it didn't seem to make one bit of difference!! A good slice with my yachtman's knife into the brain was definitely a more effective death move!! Now the fillet knife came out and after sloshing the bloody cockpit to clean up most of the guck I brought out the soya sauce and we took slice after slice of still warm tuna flesh turned tuna sushimi!! Also fresh ahi-ahi was on the dinner menu last night and today's lunch will be tuna sushi!! After that I will make a seafood chowder to use up the rest of that delicious meat! WE both felt kinda bad killing this poor 30 lb baby tuna just so we can fill our tummy's!! Of course those thougths passed quickly as we enjoyed that wonderful fish!

I am glad to say that we are now back into the skies with fluffy clouds and almost full sun!! There are many large waves still rolling through (some are definiitly 3 metres and if one is brave enough to look down when we are at the top of one of these huge waves it looks like a deep valley - enough to make one gulp!! But our Beautiful Terrwyn comes through for us every time and nicely coasts down the gully and then cuts through the next wave. A bit of a ride but having sun makes it all feel much more cheery!

Must go for now and think about making our Sushi lunch Mmmmmm...

Love to you all

and Fair Winds



  1. cathy and bill,

    i just finished reading your blogs and it sure sounds like you are having an amazing time. im happy to hear that you finally managed to catch a tuna, must have made your day!! reading your blog has made me want to go out for sushi.
    All is well here in calgary. Im loving your little house. She is very good to me. There was a bit of a wind storm a few days ago and we lost a few good size branches off the trees.

    keep the great stories coming. I love reading them.
    take care and fair winds to you


  2. Mike here. Post equator, you guys could have 'his and her' names. How 'bout "Maximus Girthus" and "Maxima Girta"?? Ain't this fun!!!

    Glad to see your seasonal strategy paid off.

    Love ya both!

  3. Ahoy!

    How about, 'Waister and Waistknot Equators'?

    Happy sails!

    Mark & Laura