We have been at sea for 2 1/2 weeks now. We are 1,800 miles from Zihua and 1,060 miles from Hiva Oa.
Still motoring across the doldrums. Wind is usually less than 4 knots, but right now it clocked around to the SSW ahead of a squall line and it’s currently blowing 10 on the nose, which greatly helps our fuel economy of course 😉
We are on a course of 180 true, making an average of 4.0 knots under power. The equator is 260 miles to the south. That is 65 hours away at this speed, or just under three days.
A couple days ago I received a weather fax with location of the ITCZ and it was stationed from 5N to 2N. Unfortunately, due to poor radio propagation, I can’t receive faxes right now. I will request the text version of the weather synopsis instead, which will have the location as well.
Looking ahead at weather south of the equator, it’s not looking that great. Unfortunately they are forecasting the SE trades to move south of 5S and the area between the equator and 5S is forecast to be squalls and calms for a few days after we cross the equator. Bummer. We may be heaving-to once we get south of the equator, because we aren’t carrying enough fuel to motor through all those squalls and calms… Maybe the forecast will change and we’ll get lucky.
Our main fuel tank still holds approximately 30 gallons and we have an additional 40 gallons of fuel in jerry jugs. The wind is not helping us so I estimate our burn rate at a conservative 0.60 gallons per hour at 4.0 knots. This equates to a theoretical range remaining of 117 hours or 470 miles.
I think the bottom is getting fouled. We should be able to make more way at this RPM. Once the swell subsides, I will dive on the bottom and clean any barnacles off. Still a relatively large cross swell running.
If anyone is bored at work (that never happens right?) send us your best prediction of when we will be out of the ITCZ. We’ll get a pool going.
04 16 N
128 23 W
Wind: 8 knots SSW
Seas: 4-7ft swell from the N and NE