Day 138, Year 1: Uninhabited Espiritu Santo
Date: Saturday, March 4, 2006
Weather: No Wind
Air Temperature: Not sure, but it was hot with no breeze today.
Water Temperature: 69 degrees F
Latitude: 08 degrees 25 minutes
Longitude: 78 degrees 51 minutes
Location: Espiritu Santo, Isla Del Ray, Las Perlas Islands, Panama
We traveled from Contadora to Espiritu Santo off Isla Del Rey in the Las Perlas islands today. It was only about 14 miles, but we had to motor the whole time as there was no wind today. Since the fuel we are presently carrying must get us all the way to the Galapagos some 900 miles away, and since we will be traveling through the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ better known as the doldrums) for much of the way, we motored slowly today to conserve fuel. There are no fuel stops between here and there! We carry enough fuel to motor the whole distance if needed, but it is still wise to conserve. We arrived here around 1530 and shortly after we anchored, Sylvia and Doug of Windcastle, came to visit. We had heard from them on the net this morning and learned that they are not going to mainland Ecuador as planned, but will be leaving the Las Perlas and heading straight to the Galapagos as we will. It will be great to have both Aqua Magic and Windcastle close by as we head out.

We are in what I call “sweet and sour” land in terms of air temperature. We have an almost constant 70 percent humidity and when there is a breeze blowing on you, you feel almost cold in the evenings and at night. But when there is no breeze blowing on you at night, you are hot. The same is true during the day, but you never feel cool during the day, just comfortable with a breeze and hot without it. Somehow at night, we go from cool to warm to cold to hot, and then we start the cycle over. One of our problems is that we have very poor circulation down in the main cabin of the boat. All of our hatches open backwards and let minimum air flow below deck. Tomorrow we will begin investigating how we can remedy the problem. As we head further west, it will get hotter and there will be less wind than we have had to date, so it is definitely time to do a little problem solving.

Espiritu Santo is a small island just off Isla Del Ray. It is uninhabited except by birds and what sounds like a monkey. Tomorrow after the net, we will take the dinghy to the island and walk across to the Gulf of Panama side to snorkel. The anchorage between the Isla Del Ray and Espiritu Santo is beautiful, but because it is a fairly narrow cut, there is a lot of debris in the water that appears to be trapped here. It is not water that you feel you want to jump into, so we are hoping that on the other side of the island things will be different. Tomorrow evening, we are inviting the other 3 boats in the anchorage to Windbird for dinner to celebrate my 59th birthday. Mark had hoped to catch fresh fish today to have for tomorrow’s dinner, buy all we caught was our own prop. We forgot to bring in the fishing line when we got here to the anchorage, and when we backed down on the anchor, the line wrapped around the prop. Inviting or not, Mark had to get out the snuba gear and dive down to clear the prop. He was able to salvage the lure and didn’t loose that much line, so all is well. We will just have to have salmon steaks from the freezer tomorrow night.

Day 139, Year 1: Happy Birthday to Me
Day 137, Year 1: Preparing Windbird for Crossing to Galapagos