It started slow on day 4 with us drifting in a huge pond to finding the wind this afternoon.We saw 2 bright white sailboats behind us before sunset last night, yay! Last night started to be a good sail until the wind turned off about midnight. Rolling us around in a circle and flipping about. We dropped all sails and bobbed for a few hours. Finally over breakfast it blew 8 knots, but slowed to 5 about noon, for 2 hours, then back up. Darn unpredicted fickle weather. We ran our main and Genoa all day.
A few activities to pass the time in our own personal duldrums: Scott started a Steve Martin book, Kathy had an epic nap, made fried plantains, sourdough bread and yogurt, we played a quick game of gin rummy to a 100, Scott took first place! We had a great discussion and drawings about lat and long, times zones, international date line, and what time it is actually now since our phones won’t be able to update out here with no cell towers.
Best news: Land Ho! We saw Isle Socorro. It will be the last land we see this month!!!
We chose not to fly Pink Floyd; the spinnaker at night with only 1 person awake, in the dark shifty winds, our Genoa gives us all the speed we need! We have been turning on starlink for about an hour twice a day. Its mostly working well, but draws 5 amps per hour and we have been managing battery levels. Today was cloudy and cool, good wind speeds of 13-15 knots and 77 degrees. It was fun to study our world cruising books and discuss future wants and wishes. A very great thing about being way out here are: no mosquitos, flies or bees. No sealife today, except for some stinky guests and for a white boobie, and it ain’t mine!
Day 7 and 8 …and….”The Call”
Sunrise for the second day in a row eluded us. The blue sky’s we had 3 days ago have yielded to Grey sky’s and muted colors in the water below us. For the second straight day the seas have been big, and it doesn’t help that we need to go almost dead downwind to get to our next waypoint. Sea Bella is a 30,000lbs surf board that lumbers down a face of a wave and she can see 11 knots while the scuppers on both sides of the boat might see water. I watch in amazement what surfing style Sea Bella does have is handled by the autopilot effortlessly. Thank god!
Sleeping, cooking, sail changes and even just sitting become a challenge. We could easily be sailing faster with more sail changes and pushing our gear but comfort and safety keep us conservative.
Yesterday morning we get a call out on the SSB morning net. Sea Bella is being hailed to change course to assist a vessel in distress. We are told a sailboat with a family of five has been dismasted and needs our help. We quickly change course and wait eagerly to receive the details via our SAT phone Iridium Go. As the details emerge, we learn that we are the closest vessel to them and we are still at least 220 miles from them.
Racing through our minds is how are we going to get these people on board in these 12’ seas! Also, how is Sea Bella going to carry (now) 7 people including a 5 month old Baby another 2000 miles.
Baby!!!! Ha. Whatever, we’ll make it work if we have too.
A few hours into our new course we learn that a tanker was also being diverted to intercept but that it was necessary for us to stay in route in just in case the tanker couldn’t render proper assistance. 6 hours later, the tanker pulls along side and rescues the mother and three children. The skipper decides to says aboard to try and save the vessel. He has cut the mast and rig away and is now under auxiliary power.
So, Sea Bella goes on her way, mother and children are now very comfortable on the tanker but have a new way point of Japan and the vessel’s skipper tries to figure out how to motor back to the Socorro’s with remaining fuel on board. The story has many more details, for later.
We are about 1/3 of the way there. We are looking forward to the equator and some flat seas. Until then, we will leave you with some pics of our efforts in find a sleeping spot