Pacific Crossing Day 9: Passing the Galapagos

We flew the gennaker until ~8:45pm last night. We don’t usually fly our big headsails after sunset, but our speed was good, and the sea state was calm. As the wind crept up, we played it safe and swapped it out for the jib. We were cruising along at 7kn in 11kn of wind. Things shifted around midnight. The wind dissipated, and we were taking a significant swell on our beam, making for an incredibly uncomfortable rest of the night. Usually, the sails act like a car’s suspension would, carrying us over the waves and smoothing out the ride, but since we didn’t have much wind, we felt every crest and every trough. Ray had to turn the engine on. 

I came up for my second shift at the helm at 7am, feeling like I only got 30 minutes of rest during my 5 hours off. It’s difficult to sleep when you’re being tossed around. The boat groans and creaks, letting you know it’s equally as uncomfortable as you are. We had our main and jib up, port engine on, AWS 6kn. The wind picked up just a few knots, so we turned the engine off and tried to sail. We made it less than an hour before practically coming to a halt, forcing us to turn the engine back on. 

Thankfully, by 10am, things were looking up. The wind filled out, and we were sailing at 7kn with the main and gennaker. The waves were still on our beam, but the lift from the gennaker minimized the roll. 

We were approaching the Galapagos. This is the first time in days we’ve been going fast enough for long enough to make fishing worthwhile, but the waters surrounding the Galapagos are protected. We’re unsure what the exact rules or boundaries are, so we kept our hooks aboard. I can’t believe it’s already day 9. I feel like time is flying by! I really enjoy passage-making. I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of something to compare it to, but nothing does it justice. I guess I’ve got 3,000 more nautical miles to come up with something. 

We passed Roca Redonda this afternoon, the last bit of land we’ll see until we arrive in French Polynesia. We were visited by butterflies and dragonflies- a telltale sign of our proximity to land. 

The wind disappeared as we navigated through the shadow of the islands. We motored on and off as needed, experimenting with a few new (to us) sail configurations while the wind was light and furling and unfurling things was easy. 

Ray woke me up from my afternoon nap. He saw whales in the distance, and I always want to be woken up for wildlife sightings. We stared at the horizon, trying to decipher the splashes in the distance. They were so far away, but we began to think it was more than just whales. As they came closer, we saw a myriad of sea life: tuna jumping, sea lions popping their heads up, dolphins hurdling their bodies high up into the air. It was spectacular! 

I apologize for the lackluster photos; I desperately need a camera with better zoom😩- recommendations are welcome! In other news, we finally tracked down the fishy smell we’ve been searching for the past few days… There was a dead squid in the crevice of our top deck. Ray had to pick it out with his leatherman. 

It’s dark as I’m posting this; we switched time zones at some point today. Fog has encompassed us, and we are both awake, waiting to celebrate crossing the equator! 3 more miles!!

8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. So exciting to be traveling along with you two! The wildlife sighting sounds spectacular! Sending all our love ❤️

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