We did finally find our way out of the ITCZ. Night before last there weren’t squalls and we didn’t see any lightening. But still no wind. Yesterday morning we were still motoring along. Which might be all right, but we don’t carry enough fuel to make it all the way to Ecuador. I thought the wind would be just south of the ITCZ, which the high seas forecast said yesterday was all the way up at 10 degrees, and we were at 5 degrees.
So late in the afternoon I was on watch and an enormous squall was in front of us right in our path, of course. And I was just tired of driving around the darn things for miles and miles. The worst wind we’d seen in them was 20 knots of wind, and there was no wind at the time at all. So I adopted the “take your medicine like an man” plan and decided to take the shortest path right through the middle. Well you have to know where this is going. God immediately decided it was time to get out the humility stick and give me a big ‘ole whack.
So into the middle we head and the wind starts building and keeps building. Suddenly we’ve got 30 knots on our nose and it’s still building and I know there’s no way we’re going right through the middle. We’ve got a reefed main up, so I turn down as far as I can without gybing the main and decide I better run with it for a bit. About this time the skies completely open up and it starts pouring. Rob is up from his nap but we decide he should just stay inside and not get wet since I’m already soaked (is there a pattern here?). Also about the same time I get hit up alongside the head (literally) with a huge wave. But running with it is not getting us out of it because we’re now just traveling in the same direction as it is. I really need to head up and work my way out. As luck would have it, it was raining so hard the seas were totally flattened out. That was amazing to see.
So after about 20 minutes more we finally scooted out the south end of it. And there was the wind we had been waiting all day for. It must have been just getting sucked into this massive squall and up over the top of us.
We set the staysail since it was getting late and we like to sail really slow and conservatively at night. And it was gorgeous last night sailing along. It was blowing 18ish, so the staysail and a reefed main were perfect. This morning when I came on watch at 5 the wind slowed down and the staysail wasn’t powerful enough to keep momentum in the big seas that had built up. So now we’ve got a double reefed jib and a reefed main and the windvane is driving us like a champ.
We’re still 3 or 4 more days from landfall, but the boat’s moving along beautifully and we’re not worrying any more about running out of fuel on the way.
Yohelah is here