1. day - 20/05/2007 - Sunday, The Red TideArriving back to Rotor we found many dead fish floating around the boat at the anchoring place. The water smelled badly and had an interesting colour between brown and red. These were caused by the red tide, which is the algae bloom near the shores. These algae contain more toxic materials therefore the port captain prohibited the swimming in the water.
We were a bit depressed by this announcement, because it is not possible to go out from this bay without cleaning the moss and algae from the underwater propeller of the boat.
It means our journey is a bit delayed to the Galápagos, we hope not for long.
We used this time mainly to fix our fridge that was out of work for a while and make some improvements on our anchor chain.
2. day - 21/05/2007 - Monday, Reparation of the FridgeTerry was the sailor who came along and helped us in the fridge-fixing project.
The fridge lost the gas so it seamed to be leaking a bit. First sign was that it switched on more frequently the second was that it took all the saved energy of the batteries. At the end it was not even freezing. The problem was that the gas what we needed was out of production. However do not forget that we are in Ecuador so you can buy staffs if you want very much even if it is out of production. At least we learned about the soul of our fridge.
Clearing out from Manta had gone easily so we are one step further leaving Bahia de Caraquez and continuing the journey. We just have to find someone who cleans the propeller of the boat.
3. day - 22/05/2007 - Tuesday, Day before LeavingStarting with a good day. Carlos (a kind local guy in the marina) promised us to sink under our vessel to clean the propeller. He did not seem to be worried about the red tide.
Making ourselves busy we bought fresh goods and chicken to can. It was interesting that the seller on the market gave us the breast and wanted to throw away all the other parts of the chicken such as the liver. It seems people do not eat these here. We could not even see a paté or something like that in the supermarket.
We prepared the canned chicken based on our grandmothers receipt. I was quite busy all day and cooked even cookies for the long journey.
4. day - 23/05/2007 - Wednesday, Leaving to Galápagos - 1. dayWe could not leave without inspecting the boat by the captaincy. They checked our life-jackets, radio, radar (it is not always part of the boats), life raft etc. This was our first experience like that and we do not know what would they say if something is missing. But everything was fine.
We started our Pacific Ocean cross today. Our sails were up and the course was set. We left Bahia de Caraquez with our fresh goods, caned chicken and cakes and then stared at the coast as it rapidly grew smaller behind. We did not use a pilot this time going out from the marina we used our saved course from the GPS as we used entering the port. We could not see the sun and moon all day, as the sky was cloudy and grey. There could be a storm somewhere.
This first part of the Pacific cross will be up to Galapagos Islands (approx. 600 nautical miles) as a warming up for the big journey up to Marquesas Islands which will be next part of the Pacific cross.
09:00 0-37.79S 80-25.13W log= 17943.7
5. day - 24/05/2007 - Thursday, 2. DayGood thing in sailing that something always happens. This time in the dark we saw a big carrier coming towards us on its way. The strange was only that it showed once its port then its star port side. We saw its red and green lights changing frequently. We were not sure what was going on therefore we stated to watch it continuously. After a while everything was clear. Poor carrier stuck into the fisheries and it started to avoid the fishing nets. In a few minutes we followed it and we were in the
fisheries. We saw many twinkling lights from the buoys of the fishing nets. So we started to avoid them. A fishing boat turned up from nowhere with its very speedy engine and turned on its lights directly towards us. We did the same towards them, so they left in a few minutes.
With the rising sun the grey clouds have gone. It was an amazing scene when the sun won above them and they retreated living only the small, white cumulus behind. Although the sun won this time it was not really warm. We had a cold southwest 15-20 knots of wind as it was predicted. We blessed this good wind and sailed towards west based on our planned course.
Today we announced our position on the Pacific-net letting other sailors to know that we are on our way of the Pacific crossing.
In the night we needed our raincoat against the top of the waves entered into the cockpit.
09:30 0-31.68S 81-32.09W log= 18010.9
6. day - 25/05/2007 - Friday, 3. DayStill beating to windward. This is not the most comfortable sailing and it is also the slowest sailing with pitching on the waves, however we still makiing 5 knots of average sailing speed. The streamline of the boat is efficient enough in cutting through the waves. It is like cutting the butter with a knife. One or two waves however, want to avoid this with a success by hitting and banging the hull. The boat takes a stand against the waves this time and protects the travellers from being very wet.
Most of the waves are around the same size and they follow each other with long amplitude. Sometimes we can see a double sized wave (lets say 4-5 times a day) when the boat is knocked a bit down until these waves pass away. One calls it the two or three sisters.
Early in the morning we wished to see the sun sometimes during the day. The cold is starting to be tough. We drank our morning tea very slowly to feel the warming up by holding the thermo mug in our hands.
In the afternoon the sunshine arrived and we had seawater showers in the cockpit.
Due to the good lights I made some sailing pictures of Geza to send it to a Hungarian sailing magazine called Aqua. We also had a good chat by the radio with a Hungarian radio amateur man who lives in Brazil. He has farms there and the weather could be warm there. We felt we were warming up during his story.
14:30 0-24.66S 83-47.94W log= 18146.9
7. day - 26/05/2007 - Saturday, 4. Day - Half WayWe celebrated reaching the halfway of our journey to the Galapagos. We have only 300 nautical miles left thanking for the good winds. We said cheers with a cup of hot chocolate and ate a reach breakfast in the morning.
It is interesting that we still saw a fishing boat around 250 away from the shores, we did not see anything else only the sea and one or two birds flying around.
In the afternoon the sun turned up but the wind stopped. In the strong winds we did not worry about the currents below. But we had an interesting experience when the winds has gone. Our course was west by 2 knots, which was slow but all right. After sunset we noticed that the boat was facing towards the Southern Cross and behind we saw the Great Bear. If we see the Southern Cross it means we are heading south. So, how could we go to the west according to the GPS? It was soon clear. We had a strong
current below us, which was tossing the boat from the side at least to the right direction this time.
08:00 0-35.46S 85-10.20W log= 18229.9
8. day - 27/05/2007 - Sunday, 5 DayToday we had good wind again and the sun was shining all day. It is warmer than a couple of days before so we have a pleasant ride on Rotor this time. We have not seen other boats for a while. The sunsets are really amazing with the red sky over the horizon.
11:00 0-44.00S 86-29.09W log= 18309.3
9. day - 28/05/2007 - Monday, 6. DayWe had a good wind in the last couple of days. At 6 pm we were only 60 miles East of the islands. We first saw dolphins on the way and seagulls were having sunbath on the soft waves.
This time in the afternoon we could talk to Aron Meder (Hungarian sailor) on radio. Aron tries to get to the Galapagos for a while too, but he is at the northeast of the islands and he is facing the wind and current. We were informed that his engine was out of work and he had some problems around his mast. He was not sure that it could stand a stronger wind. Due to the strong current below him, it seemed he couldn’t get to the Galapagos, as he was too much North of it. He was thinking to start his journey towards Marquesas that is around 3000 miles from here. We looked at each other with Geza then we looked at the map. He was 140 miles north of us and it is approximately 2 days sailing for us to catch him. We decided to offer our assistance to him. We try to tug his boat to the Galapagos so he can make the required reparations on his boat there. We set the sails and turned the Rotor 90 degrees strait towards him. Galapagos can wait for a couple of days. We do not know how it will work out concerning the wind and current, but at least we will try it.
10:15 1-09.90S 88-13.69W log= 18417.0
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