Oct. 3, 2010-Dispatch #1 from the Indian Ocean
Heading SW at 7-8 knots on a broad reach with #4 jib and a reefed main. The wind is from 97 degrees at 18-26 knot. Sun is peeking out for the first time this passage. Judy and Pierre are sleeping. Wet weather gear swings dripping circles in the forepeak. Everything is damp.
By dawn the third day we have covered 194 nautical miles and until this morning there has been very little fun in it. It was slow going with contrary winds (on the nose), torrential downpours which defeated the best rain gear, and lumpy waves which tossed us like a cork. Welcome to the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone. The worst of it was yesterday afternoon when we had the rain but no wind and waves which flogged the sails unmercifully. We just took the sails down and motored.
We'd been heading due south, well east of our line headed as quick as we could towards 10 degrees south, below the ITCZ, where the trades should be solid and dependable and we could say good bye to the rain and these rotten NW winds. The forecasts kept showing easterlies where we were but we hadn't seen them.
They first showed up at 4 degrees south Yesterday on Judy's watch, hooray, when the wind switched within five minutes and blew from the SE, but it didn't last. In an hour they disappeared again.
This morning it changed once more, this time gradually swinging around and it has been solid 15-20 knots from the ESE for five hours. We have turned towards Rodriguez.
I'm not calling them the trade winds but like they say, if it talks like a duck and walks like a duck, well…
The rain stopped and we're sailing well.
I've opened the hatches for some ventilation and put out the fishing line again.
Our spirits have been down but now I hope people will perk up a bit.
Now we just need to work our way around a little low system which looks to be in front of us which we are tracking closely. I've worked out a route to get south of it and we will try to follow that
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Indian Ocean