Day 163, Year 3: Second Day of Passage to Pulau Kentar
Date: Hari Minggu (Sunday), Bulan Oktober 19, Pada Tahan 2008
Weather: Sunny, Cloudy, Rainy, Sunny; Winds Non-existent
Air Temperature: 92 degrees F Mid-day
Water Temperature: 84 degrees F
Latitude: 00 degrees 43.064 minutes S
Longitude: 105 degrees 41.606 minutes E
Location: On Passage from Pulau Belitung to Pulau Kentar, Indonesia
Miles to Go: 74.5

We’re getting closer. We will cross the equator for the second time on this voyage early in the morning. Shortly after I sent yesterday’s log, the wind left us and we have been motoring on almost glassy seas since then. Conditions here are very similar to the conditions when we crossed the equator going from north to south just before arrival in Galapagos. It is HOT, it is humid, the seas are glassy, and there is no wind. For the first crossing we had a full moon. We missed the timing a bit
on this one and will have the light of a moon that was full just five days ago. And last night, I almost helped us repeat something that we would never want to repeat. On the third day of our seven day passage from Panama to the Galapagos, we got caught in a fishing net. Last night, Mark had a very quiet watch from 7 to 10 pm. He pointed out the lights of about three sailboats out in front of us and then went to bed. Well, those three lights ended up to be fishing boats, and just as was the
case off the coast of Columbia, these fishing boats came with green and red flashing buoys indicating fishing nets. I went as far off course as I dared to avoid going through the boats, but I kept getting pushed further and further to the east. I thought I was fine and then all of a sudden one of the flashing red and green lights seemed to be headed straight toward Windbird. I adjusted course by 10 degrees, then 10 more degrees, and passed the flashing buoy with only a few feet to spare. The
red and green flashing light was on a stick about three feet high. I could see the bobbers from the net and took the engine out of gear “just in case.” Windbird was fine, but it gave me quite a scare and I’m still unsure how it all happened. I guess perspective can be a very strange thing and I sure called that one wrong. Since the light was down close to the water, it must have been much closer to Windbird than I thought. It seemed to be zooming toward me, but I guess I was zooming toward it.
Tonight I will just go miles off course if I need to in order to feel safe.

Today we also had another scare. The sun was shining and all was well, except that we had no wind. I was actually doing another laundry. As I was hanging the clothes, I looked up and saw a black cloud with what looked like a tornado coming down from it to the water. That is a water spout and if you get in its way, you can be in big trouble. Water spouts are just tornados over water and can pack huge winds. We dropped the main and changed course to try and avoid it. It seemed fairly stationary
as we watched, and then it started to dissipate, build again, dissipate, and finally lose its strength. Then another smaller one formed a little closer to us, but that one didn’t last long. Later in the afternoon we got a good little rain and that helped cool things down. It was 92 degrees F in the middle of the day and humidity must be about the same. It was HOT. But after the rain, the temperature dropped to about 88 degrees and that feels cool.

We’re not sure what we need to do to celebrate our second equator crossing, but since it will be early in the morning and we will reach out destination shortly afterward, I have a feeling the celebrating will happen in the anchorage. Yesterday after I sent the log, we caught a small Spanish mackerel, so we will grill that and celebrate with other cruisers in the anchorage. I’m sure a dip in the sea will also be part of the celebration.