Passage to Panama: Day 2/3

Saturday February 17th, 4:30 P.M. EST
Position: N 12 08 43
W74 54 36

It is now day 3 of our passage from Bonaire to the San Blas
Islands. We continue to be very fortunate with both wind and
seas – it is quite literally “smooth sailing”. We have had
winds from the east north-east somewhere in the 14 to 20 nm per
hour range – making for a very comfortable sail. We had huge
bunches of flying fish hopping out of the water all morning and
sailing past us – big groups of 10 to 30 fish at a time – all
silvery and smooth. Some of them are out of the water for a
hundred feet or more, sometimes turning directions in
mid-flight. One of them took a left just in front of the forward
sail and crashed into it. He must have been as surprised as we
were. Just as we were getting bored of them, a fantastic school
of dolphins appeared at the side of the boat and they dove and
jumped all around us for about a half an hour. They must send
out calls to their friends when they find a boat to follow for
as we watched them playing in the waves around us, we could see
many of them cruising up to the boat from way behind – coming at
such a fast speed it was startling. Claus had been wanting to
see dolphins so we were all very glad that they visited us. We
hope we will see more of them before the trip is over. There is
lots of shade in the cockpit from about 11:00 a.m. onwards so we
are all comfortable. It is a good idea to stay out of the
direct sun here as it is incredibly intense starting from about
8:00 a.m. We have had two nights at sea so far, both of them
moonless, which I thought would make it quite dark. Guess I was
wrong, as the stars are so intensely bright that we have lots of
light at sea. The stars have really been amazing – the whole
milky way is visible – and we watch the big dipper rise out of
the horizon behind us as the night progresses. We saw a tiny
sliver of moon yesterday, just before the sun rose.
Lots of boiled eggs, chicken, Dutch cheese, fruit and chocolate
to eat on board – plus good old diet Coke and lots of water.
Claus is a welcome addition to our trip – he balances out the
Pitt sleeping equation, as he doesn’t seem to need any sleep,
and Mark and I can never seem to get enough sleep.