Day 109, Year 1: Day Four of Our Passage to the San Blas
Date: Friday, February 3, 2006
Air Temperature: 82 degrees F
Water Temperature: 78 degrees F
Latitude: N 14 degrees 33 minutes
Longitude: W 75 degrees 21 minutes
Location: Passage from Curacao to Panama, Day 4

Miles to go-395. We are traveling about 140 to150 miles each day which is better than expected. But we have had to go a bit out of our way in order to keep the wind from being directly behind us. When that is the case, we rock and roll and it is not comfortable. So going the extra miles is fine with me. But we did get a bit of good weather news from Herb this afternoon. There has been some easing of conditions off the Columbian coast and we can now set a west/southwest course all the way to 78 degrees W. If this works, there will be no more zig-zagging in the next 24 hours. We are still sailing with the main sail double-reefed and we now have the head sail poled out. We have used the wind vane steering all day today instead of the auto pilot. The auto pilot takes power, whereas the wind vane steering does the same thing but uses only the wind to direct us. We should be able to keep things this way until we reach 78 degrees at about midnight tomorrow night. We then make our turn south and will have to make adjustments. So things are going well.

This morning, Songster, the boat which is one day behind us, made radio contact with us seeking weather information. But other than talking to them, checking in with Herb, and seeing one cargo ship during the early morning hours, we have seen no other signs of life in the last 24 hours. It appears that we have the Interior Caribbean Basin all to ourselves for now.

The galley queen did a better job last night and had no life-threatening events while cooking dinner. And that’s a good thing. I finished reading Michener’s South Pacific and have to make a new choice for tonight. During the day, I am reading research information on our next stop in the San Blas. The Kuna Indians that live there have a fascinating history and as I learn more about them, I am getting anxious to visit their world.

So slowly we move along with the wind filling our sails and the wind guiding our path with the wind vane steering. All the while the wind generator is whirring away making power for us. Out here, the wind can be your best friend or it can be a demon. Right now, it is a good friend and I hope it stays that way until we reach the San Blas.