Saturday, December 30, 2017

La Paz to Galapagos: Day 18, 19 and 20

For those who are wondering why I can't sit down and write some witty description of what we are doing every day. Here is something you can try at home.
Step 1: Take your worst smelling hockey, cycling, skiing... any sport really... and get them good and wet. Then seal them up in a large plastic bag for later. Wait at least a week. 2 or 3 is better.
Step 2: Find a large 80-100 Gallon oil drum. Clean it out (only sort of, good old oil adds to the realistic effect) and then hump it to the top of a large hill along with the bag of fermented sports gear and a laptop. Crew added the additional requirement that the hill must be full of potholes and bumps.
Step 3: Pour the sports gear into the drum, turn the drum on its side and then climb in crouched with the laptop ready to write the latest post.
Step 4: Have someone push the drum down the hill.
Step 5: Try to write a blog post while staying inside the drum and not throwing up due to the putrid mess spraying all over you while keeping the laptop dry.
Step 6: Please report back your results in the comments section below.

The past 3 days have seen spirits soar and then crash a number of times. All emotional changes revolve around our predicted time of arrival. AKA the time when we can all get off this freaken boat and kiss land. For 4 days now we have been hard on the wind trying to make our arrival waypoint. The winds have been reasonably steady and for almost 3 of those days we didn't have to touch the sails.
We were in communication with our agent who will check us in to the islands and hopes were high that if we could arrive sometime on the 31st there was a chance we wouldn't be stuck on the boat until the 2nd. On a friends suggestion, I created a spreadsheet that calculated our arrival time based on distance left, boat speed and a few other factors. Big mistake and hence the emotional roller coaster.
The computer was turned on way more than our usual morning and evening weather downloads. It was now running constantly as we plugged in the appropriate data, sometimes fudging the numbers just a bit to make the end result look better. 4pm on the 31st was our target arrival and up until last night that was looking possible, if not probable. Then distaster struck and everything went to hell.
Last night as we were flying along at our usual breakneck pace when gradually over the span of about an hour our speed dropped significantly and our sailing direction veered off course. We tacked hoping the other side would be better. It wasnt. Since then we have tried sailing, motoring and motor sailing all with the same result. Our spreadsheet did not account for a 2.5 knot current against us now that we are less than 150 NM from our destination. Over the course of today our catch phrase has been "Can't get there from here..." At many times today despite best efforts we have actually gone backwards. Such is the life of an offshore sailor.
We have emailed our agent and postponed our arrival. Crew spirits were briefly raised by excellent "last eggs" lime and sugar crepes. Some heated discussion about stove balancing protocol and optimum sailing angles for Sea Rover also passed a few hours.
The drum beats on.
151.7 NM to go.

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