Passage to the Galapagos, Days 1 and 2
Yesterday morning (Friday, March 16) we completed
preparations for our passage to the Galapagos, including a
lengthy visit to the fuel dock to fill a 100 gallon fuel bladder
strapped to the aft deck. At 11:20 we left Balboa and headed
out the channel into the Pacific. The forecast was for light
winds and that is just what we have found. We motored until
about 5:30 pm and then found enough wind to sail at a reasonable
pace with the genoa set out on a pole to windward. By 9:30 pm,
we were back to motoring and have only been under sail for 2 1/2
hours today (Saturday). Having that extra 100 gallons of diesel
in the bladder tank is reassuring, as is the 40 gallons in jerry
cans. We have enough fuel to motor all the rest of the way to
the Galapagos if we have to. We have benefited from a favorable
current that added as much as 2 – 3 knots to our speed for most
of the day.
There was quite a bit of large ship traffic coming to and
from the Canal until early this morning. Now we are south of
where the big ships go and have not seen another vessel for
hours. Seas are quite flat with only a gentle swell but it is
very hot inside the boat and difficult to sleep except at night.
We have lots of fruit that is rapidly ripening in the heat and
we need to get busy eating it. The boat is more laden with
provisions, fuel, and water than ever before. Laura and I made
a last trip to the supermarket (“Super 99”) in Balboa plus added
a few cases of drinks at the Balboa Yacht Club. Much of these
provisions have to last us all the way to French Polynesia,
almost 4000 miles of sailing away.
At 5:30pm EST (22:30 Z) we are at North 5 degrees 55.5
minutes, West 80 degrees 57.9 minuted, motoring at 7.9 knots and
heading 238 degrees magnetic.