Fanning to Penrhyn or Manihiki or Suwarrow…. We’re Back in the South Pacific!!

We are in the southern hemisphere again! Early this morning we crossed the equator for the fourth time in less than two years. We’re back in the south pacific!

Ellie is in her groove and tearing away the miles. We are two days out of Fanning and have covered 250 miles since departing on Friday. Conditions are very pleasant with some periods of uncomfortable heavy squall activity. We are on the equator, the hottest place on earth, so as you can imagine we’re pretty much drenched in sweat 20 hours a day. It’s impossible to sleep unless you have one of our tornado fans cranking.

We are not sure where we are headed yet. The wind forecast keeps changing and the latest has the wind dying in a few days so we may have to head to a closer destination since we don’t have a lot of fuel aboard. Penrhyn is only 530 miles SSE of our location, 4 days away, but slightly up wind and up current.  Manihiki is 600 miles SSW of us, 5 days away, and slightly downwind. Suwarrow is 800 miles SW of our location, 6-7 days away, and the most favorable wind angle. Our current plan to to try to sail for Penrhyn but if we fall short head for Manihiki. We’ll see what the wind does.

We are currently sailing relatively close on the wind, 57 degrees off the port bow, and falling short of Penrhyn. We’ll see where we end up in a few days.

We are passing Jarvis Island right now, a tiny bird sh!t-covered rock owned by the USA. It’s 10 miles to starboard according to my charts but it must be very low-lying because I can’t get it on radar. Anyone want to send me the height? Has anyone anchored in it’s lee? Now I’m curious.

Need to make water today. Showers will be had by all! I built a nice little canvas ‘fort’ for the generator so it doesn’t get splashed by rogue waves. I tried to fire it up to charge the batteries – that are at the end of their useful life and need replaced – but conveniently our Prosine charger/inverter decided to trip some internal software breaker and won’t let me charge the batteries. Murphy’s Law. I’m dreading emptying out the lazarette to get to the charger and reset it. Hopefully the solar panels keep up until we get to an anchorage.

Wish us steady wind and calm seas as we sail south. If the conditions deteriorate I think the Mermaid may call for a helicopter – she is very ready to be done with these long, hot passages.

Cheers from the sweltering equator,
Lewis & The Exhausted Princess and the Pea

May 17, 2015
00 24.6 SOUTH!
159 50.7 W
166T
6.0 KTS
10 KTS E WIND
1.3 METER SEAS

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