Friday, April 18, 2008

Into the Tropics

Hello to all,

The tropics! We crossed into the zone last night and as advertised today we have our first truly sunny and pleasantly warm day. With the breeze it's actually still refreshing and not hot..that will change. The northeast trades have also kicked in as forecast. We now have a very steady 12-16 knots from 15-25 degrees magnetic. Yesterday was a transition day with a lot of flopping around while the wind made up it's mind. Today it's trade wind sailing. We want to make a little westerly so we're bearing off almost dead downwind with the 150% genoa poled out to port and the full main. Getting 6.5-7.5 knots depending.. The cruising chute works great as a reacher but the range of usefulness is so small I think we'll start using the regular 3/4 oz. symmetrical chute when we can't get near hull speed with this rig.

We caught two very nice fish this morning, a 37" Yellow Fin Tuna and a 40" Mahi Mahi. Both are filleted and in the fridge. We will not starve! We just finished a delicious Sunday brunch of scrambled eggs with bacon and country fried potatoes. Turns out between Janet, Bill Huber and Ken we can cook about anything. I make great popcorn!

We anticipate staying in pretty similar conditions until we reach the ITCZ, the inter-tropical convergence zone, at about 6-8 degrees north latitude. That's where the north east trades and the southeast trades converge. Usually an area of confused weather and winds. Once into the SE trades, which we want to enter about W 130.5 degrees we'll bear off directly for the Marquesas.

So this morning, three rig configuration changes, two fish caught and cleaned, the boat cleaned up from fish blood and now a nice brunch plus the usual just plain sailing and navigating. No one is, or has been, bored. Mozart on the stereo, just replaced Janis Joplin, and before brunch we played 'Southern Cross' for the first time this trip. Seemed sacrilegious to play it until we really had the conditions.

We love to get emails!

Love to all,
Bill & Janet, Ken, Bill H.

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