PAC Voy Day 11-14

Eleven Days and Officially half way there but don’t hold us to it as we still need to cross the doldrums.
So, you’ve heard of the doldrums just like you’ve heard of the trade winds…..but what are they.
South at the equator we have what we sailors call the ITCZ or the weather man calls the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. This zone loosely follows the equator (around the world) and separates two different weather systems. Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. The trade winds follow the equator east to west but each end up there following a system that pushes from their respective poles.
The trade winds are very consistent and much the reason sailors make their way around the world East to west.
The doldrums are the zone of no wind that separates the trades. That area was known to drive the old sailor crazy drifting for days without a puff in the air.

Sea Bella is only about 200 miles from the ITCZ and we are planning our crossing. This means looking at lots of weather predictions and trying to determine where it is the narrowest. Fortunately for us, we hired a professional to help us with this and we are approaching the ITCZ between squalls and into a window that will allow us to sail across. Once we are south of the equator our weather systems will trend from the South east and our spring will become fall and we will be Shellbacks not pollywogs. (Google it) Lol
Ponder this, in the northern hemisphere Hurricanes turn counter clockwise, in the southern Hemisphere the Typhoon’s turn Clockwise. As do the toilet bowls swishing counter clockwise in the north and clockwise in the south as well. 😉

We saw our first squall coming, and saw it on Radar!!

In other happenins’
Two of our friends Ciel on SV Auryn and Dirk on Moin are dropping off fuel for that boat that lost his mast south of Socorro.
Travis on Niniwahini is slowly going to make his way back to Mexico. His wife and kids were dropped off in Oahu.
We applaud our fellow cruisers and anyone lending a hand to this family.

Fun facts: Masked Booby (I had been misspelling this bird for 2 years!) His name means bobo or fool, for their silly looking mating dances. (Have not seen it yet) I have been watching these birds for a week now, darting and playing in the big winds for hours, never diving for food and never fishing from in the water like I have seen.

This perplexed me, so I learned that these white and black boobies eat the flying fish and flying squid we see daily, at NIGHT!
Also seen during our night watches with the same dietary likes, is the Galapagos Petral,  endangered by the way.

Boat Chore Facts: after yesterday’s 5 big rain squalls (not wind events) it was necessary to air out the deck lines and a few cockpit pillows. Scott and I noticed a strange dank smell in the galley and salon area. I took out all bedding and aired them in the 2 knot breeze. I rolled up our wool rug and aired it out. I checked all cupboards for leaks then, OMG! Scott says, “its a fishy smell”.

Sea Bella has 3 common, metal hood vents covering small manual fan vents for the salon and cabin.  I continued my hunt on the foredeck. A large squid had propelled himself up 7 feet and “hole in one” landed right into the hood vent! I am glad we found that stinky thing today.
Boat facts: Last night 8pm sharp, while Scott was on the SSB net, Kathy pulled in all the sails and got us underway. Looking at the weather, this may continue 2 days.  But its perfect for our Equator crossing tomorrow morning!

3/31/23 Sea Bella has crossed the Equator! This morning Neptune gifted us 12ks of breeze at 4am and we sailed briskly across. No swimming for us but we had fun making our time honored celebration in our transformation from Slimy Pollywogs to Shellbacks, see silly video on Facebook. Probably a very different ceremony than Scott’s Dad had on a Submarine 50 years ago.

A number of boat friends, back in Mexico decided to do an equator crossing secret sailor gift exchange. Sadie picked us!! Chocolates and a great green fish lure!

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