Lat: 1 47.740′ N
Lon: 84 59.805′ W

It looks like we’re finally starting to catch a break. We had to tack back SE because we were running into some stiff winds that looked like they were going to get stronger and we would never be able to sail a course toward the Galapagos. After sailing SE for a day or so, we turned back WSW just above the 2nd parallel, and we’re hoping to be able to sail the rest of the way. On the way south, we had winds that were gusting to 35 knots and more so we have a double-reef in the main. The winds are getting calmer now, and after checking the weather we’ll probably take the reef out. Not that the weather forecasts are perfect out here. It’s not at all unusual to get a consistent 20-30 when nothing more than 15 knots was forecast. If we get the good winds we’re hoping for, we have a good chance of making landfall on the 10th as we only have 380 miles to go.

Today we actually had a sunny day for the first time since we were at Shelter Bay. That was a welcome change that had been anticipated for a while. We also seem to have crossed into the cold current, because the wind is much cooler. The cool breeze makes opening a hatch really nice below, but does make cockpit showers a bit more exhilarating. As things were starting to clear last night, Lauren was able to see the full moon set on the horizon. Since we’re less than two degrees from the equator, we’ve pulled out a couple southern sky star charts to try to figure out how soon we’ll be able to see the Southern Cross. Tonight, as I’m writing this, we have a beautiful sunset in the western sky off the bow and a nearly full moon rising of the port stern quarter among the puffy clouds and pale blue twilight.

The sightings of sea life haven’t been as frequent out here. There are often birds about. There seem to be at least three different varieties that are common and they often fly near the boat in the evening and at night when the navigation lights are on. This morning I saw a group of them dive-bombing for fish off to starboard. The nights before and after we tacked SE there were small squid on deck in the mornings. The first time there were three and the second time there were two. Both times the squid were on the engine room covers at the aft end of the boat. I’m really not sure how they got there.

The boat is still doing well considering the pounding it’s been taking into the seas, although we have had a couple of casualties. The windex at the top of the mast blew off. I could see it was loose this morning, but didn’t really want to drop the sails and go up the stick out here. We also blew a split all the way fore and aft in the starboard trampoline. Hopefully some repair work or a makeshift tramp will get us to New Zealand.

Last night Lauren & Tiff made a special meal to celebrate our being at sea one week. We had breaded & fried vegetarian scallops (thanks Mom), fried potatoes, and green beans. It’s making me hungry just typing about it. Today we had chili for lunch and Lauren is working on a fettucine alfredo with peas and veggie meat for dinner. You can tell what’s been on my mind lately. The other day we sat around and talked about some of our favorite restaurants. It’s a recurring conversation even with the great chow on board. Sometimes we talk about our favorite restaurants & dishes of a particular variety or sometimes favorites in a city we’ve lived. In Panama Brett joked that when they reached French Polynesia they all went ashore talking about the steaks they were going to order and then all ordered salads after the three weeks at sea. I can definitely see that.

As a general rule, I think I’ll go back to the morning blogs instead of writing before dinner…