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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Running Down the 135th to the South Pacific

June 21, 2011

Lat 13 degrees 17 min. N

Lon 134 degrees 17 min. W

Air Temp 80 degrees F (below decks)... we are now feeling like we are approaching the true South Pacific! At least from the air and water temps!)

Cath's bit:

We are having to use another electrical source for our computer and sailmail as our plugin that we were using for our I-Go adaptor for some reason decided to stop working!! Darn! Now we are trying to do this by plugging it in to our heavy duty inverter which may interphere with the propogation for our sailmail to get to you. Oh well, here's hoping! For the last couple of days we have had definite tropical temps and have been so lucky to have spent a whole morning sailing with 30-40 dolphins playing with Terrwyn!! We sat at the bow with our legs over the side and laughed and called to them as they swam and leapt through the bow wave and beyond. We could see more coming from off both starboard and port bow. As they swam by us they would turn and look up and seemingly laugh and shoot away. Absolutely amazing! We enjoyed them for well over an hour and then they all slowly disappeared!

Our other wildlife have been a couple of flying fish sacrificing themselves on our deck (each about 8 inches long) seemingly so that they could be bait on our fishing lures (sorry to say we have not caught any fish despite Bill's best efforts each day to get all three lines out from the stern). I still have the soya sauce ready!

We also have had our daily (sometimes 2 or 3 times) visits from our friends the Red-Legged Tropicbirds. Usually there are two swooping around our mast but yesterday they brought a friend to show us off to!! They were very noisy cheeping and chirping to the new guy... so cool! Sometimes I hear them in the night above us... Feels good to have some friends around!

Yesterday we were becalmed (as we are as I type this) and so we took advantage of the calmness and went out on the foredeck with bucket, shampoo, towels and Bill washed my hair... what a decadent feeling! Now if you happened to see the movie "Becalmed" you will be very nervous hearing this... so the rest of you now need to watch that movie - please know that our experience was delightful and nothing like that awful movie. Earlier in the day I saw something on the horizon that looked like the top of a mast... we immediately got the binoculars out and it looked like a man overboard stick so we motored back to investigate. As we approached it I kept thinking "I sure hope there is nothing awful attached to the bottom of this stick"... it turned out to be some kind of old weather buoy with a radar deflector on it and some ragged remnants of flags (burgees). We left it alone and went on our way. Amazing how small things like that are huge happenings in this apparently huge, empty ocean!

We celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary on June 20th with some cranberry champagne (from Quadra Island) and a chicken curry dinner. I also made some brownies with sticky, gooey chocolate frosting... We are finishing up our fresh produce with the last of the tomatoes and cucumbers in a huge Greek salad the other night... now when I check through our produce crate I have to regularly throw out lemons that have decided to grow their own flora (I still have some lemons waiting to be served with our fresh fish!!). We are able to turn on the "refrigerator" when we run the boat motor but that is only an hour every other day or so. It really makes one appreciate a nice cold drink! I must say the only frustration I have is trying to remember where I stowed that can of crab meat or the package of taco spices... oh for a well orgainized pantry!!

We hope all is well with all of you as your Northern Hemisphere summer approaches. Let's hope the summer weather is great all around!

Much love from Cath

Now from Capn Billy:

Good day readers from Terrwyn! Course 165 T Speed 4.3 knots

0% cloud cover Barometric Pressure 1015 (down another 2 points)

Flying the new "125 Drifter" on port beam reach with full main and working staysail a little east of south to keep the sails full and pulling as we slide over the 1 metre NE swells. Truly Tropical Paradise - FINALLY!! It just took 21 dyas at sea. Took our first sea bucket showers on foredeck with fresh rinse today. Wonderful celebration of a "Noon Fix" at L.A.N (local apparent noon) 1402 BC time (watch time) but 2102 UCT (Universal Coordinated Time or what we used to call Greenwish Mean Time). The sun if finally north of our lattitude.

Had our first and worst light air night "pully holly" (which is what the sailors of the 1800's used to call slopping around. Brutal slatting of sails. Clearly we have been taking the consistent 10-20 knots of breeze for granted. The weather grib files forecast this light veering breeze and more to come before the 10 degrees north lattitude ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) i.e. The Doldrums, north of the equator.

The Drifter sail is superior to the full Roller Furling Jib as its light nylon material does not collapse after each swell passes. Hurrying down the 135 degree meridian has been fun working the various sail combinations with a waypoint of 00 degrees 00 min latitude and 135 degrees W Longitude to be in the best position to reache across the coming SE Trades to Atuono, Hiva Oa, Marquesas which is at 09 South lat/139 West long.

The fluffy scattered cumulus Trade Wind Clouds are hee. South of Hawaii and Mexico now halfway between the two. Now need to catch a fish or two, more than the odd poor flying fish on deck in the morning.

We are finally here, Southern Cross follwed by Alpha Centarus seen at night. Doing Noon Fixes and now the twilight multiple star celec=stial fixes... busy, busy Billy. Thanking our maker for Catherine; we share the watch 50/50 and general boat chores, but I have laid claim to the foredeck (very little work at odd hours) as Cathy has staked out the food prep galley area (very much work and very often!).

That's about all here... I am so blessed.



P.S. Best day's run has been 140+ nautical miles, average 120, hoping for over 100 each day over the next few days if we're lucky!


  1. It's 27 degrees celsius in Calgary with afternoon thunderstorms in the forecast. Really too hot to walk around outside! Pelicans drift down the Bow River. When at home, baby spotted Robins hop about tugging at worms and grubs in the lawn. Mosquitos are bad in Calgary this spring and land on our fingers too while going to the garage.

    Daily, we check your site to read your latest log and see what adventures have unfolded. Hope you have taken some pictures of the seas and the creatures you have encountered.

    It is indeed quite the adventure! It is kind of amazing that you can keep grub for so long, particularly salads!

    Wishing you fair winds and seas,
    April and Brent

  2. Greetings to you! Look forward to reading your entries along your course.
    Vancouver weather is inconsistent this year - cool and warm, warm and cool.
    Appreciate all of the comforts we take for granted.
    Happy stargazing in the southern hemisphere!
    Safe seas and sails.
    Mark and Laura

  3. We think of you guys often. When we look carefully your last position (22nd) I see you are laterally equal to the north tip of Africa and Guatemala. Maybe 400nm south of Hawaii. No wonder it's warm!
    You are missing one of the rainiest springs in years in the prairies.
    Long may your good jib draw!
    Ben and Lori

  4. Saskatchewan's getting to be favourable to sailboats these days. Sounds like an amazing trip you guys are having! Stay safe!

    Rob H