Day 113, Year 6 Atlantic Passage, Day 10-Happy Valentine’s Day
Date: Monday, February 14, 2011 (1730 UTC)
Weather: Partly Sunny; SE 15-20 w/periods of SSE 18-24
Air Temperature: 83 degrees F (early am); 87 degrees F (mid-day)
Latitude: 02 33.727 S
Longitude: 021 31.656 W
Miles Traveled: 1276
Miles to Go: 2606
Location: Passage from St. Helena to Caribbean (Grenada)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Windbird gave us our Valentine’s Day gift by continuing to sail herself. This afternoon at 3:20 marked seven full days of downwind sailing without having to touch a sail. And the Atlantic decided to give us the gift of positive current for the first time since leaving St. Helena. We have had a negative current which has slowed us down a bit, but now we are getting a nice boost. But Neptune was not so generous with his Valentine gift. He took another lure from us. I don’t know what monster fish are out their but they have to be big to keep breaking our line and making off with the lures. But I’m glad to trade a homemade lure for positive current anyday. The last twenty four hours was our fastest time since leaving St. Helena. We made over a 150 miles. A report we get from the Brazilian weather service tells us that the Inter-tropical Convergence zone (ITCZ) is currently one to two degrees north of the equator. But it moves constantly and could come further south to meet us. The ITCZ is where the Southeast trade winds of the south Atlantic meet the Northeast trade winds of the north Atlantic. Where they meet there is often a clash resulting in squalls and heavy rain, alternating with periods of no wind. This same Brazilian report said that the storm activity was more violent further west at 40 degrees of longitude. We are further east than our planned route, but now I think that is fine. Maybe, just maybe, we can avoid some of the more violent squalls. We will cross the equator sometime tomorrow or early on Wednesday. I guess I’d better dream up some special celebration for the fourth and final crossing during this circumnavigation. My hope would be for fresh fish so we could have sashimi. Yummm.