Day 20 – May 6, 2013

Title: Sailing toward the Southern Cross
Day 20 – May 6, 2013
Current Location: 01 59.68 N, 126 50.57 W
Heading 221 T, Speed 6.7 knots
Sail: Full Genoa & double reefed main
Temperature: Indoor 83F, Outdoor 81 F
+/- 1,680 Miles from Puerto Vallarta, 1,000 Miles to the Marquesas


The last few nights have been fabulous for stargazing! We’ve seen the Southern Cross, International Space Station, Satellites, space ‘junk’ (one man’s junk is another man’s ‘star’), the Milky Way, our old Northern Hemisphere friend the big dipper, and so many other twinkly stars and planets. It’s been awesome! Oh, and there’s an app for that Yup, we downloaded Star Walk and point the iPad to the sky and the app will tell us which constellation we’re seeing – very cool.


We have been motor-sailing for the past couple of days as the winds were too far south for us to be able to point in the direction we have determined we needed to go. Last night the wind came back to a more easterly direction so this morning we unfurled the Genoa and turned off the engine. The silence is wonderful and RED has been making an average speed of 6.7 Kts all day. Perfect!
At the current speed and direction RED should cross the Equator sometime during Tuesday night, we presume Neptune never sleeps and will be up to receive his fair share of the grog and goodies.

Through the ITCZ!

We had advise on where to cross the ITCZ (and are we grateful!) and we had essentially no squalls other than about 4 hours a couple of evenings ago. Even that was fun dodging the squalls using the new color radar, awesome piece of technology. Really if we hadn’t known we were in the ITCZ we wouldn’t have believed it existed. An interesting sidelight is that we have encountered the equatorial current which sets W and the counter-current which sets E. We know that because we can see the speed slow down in the counter-current and get a little boost in the W setting current. But especially the water temperature was about 4 F higher in the counter-current as it brings warmer water from the western Pacific. Also, the difference between the boat’s heading and its course over ground is pretty pronounced, up to 15 degrees.


Richard & Fran

One Comment

  1. So interesting!! You are lucky to have absolutely NO light pollution where you are! I love to walk on the pitchdark golf course at night and often turn my tiny flashlight off so I can see the stars, but nothing like you guys see! Great! I hope your boat doesn’t shake too bad when you cross the equator šŸ™‚ Will certainly be a great experience.
    Hugs, Maria