Apsara's Log: Galapago Night
It is shortly after midnight as Apsara races southwest
toward the Galapagos
Islands. After four days of calms, thunderstorms, and varying winds,
finally the wind freed and we have shut down the engine and are sailing at
9.4 knots in a gentle breeze of 11 true. A dozen or more white birds are
flying with us, perhaps using the light from our ship to spot fish. They
cry and swoop in and through the sails. The sky has a high overcast that is
now illuminated by a just past full moon. It is quiet and wonderful and the
sea is peaceful.
|Saturday, May 7, 2004
||N 00 59.46
||W 088 13.02
We have finally emerged from the doldrums, or the Intertropical convergence
zone as it is formally called. The ITCZ is the area along the equator where
the northern hemisphere's northeast trade winds butt up against the
southeast trades of the southern hemisphere. In between there is no
consistent wind and often squally weather with electrical storms. The first
night the sky was alive with bolts of lightening on all sides; during the
day the sky opened and it rained hard for hours.
Sometime tomorrow we will both sight land, the Galapagos, and cross the
equator sailing into the southern hemisphere almost eleven months after we
left Finland. It is hard to believe that we were once at 64 degrees
north - 150 miles south of the Arctic circle. The ship's log is approaching
10,000 miles and we are over half way to our goal of New Zealand - only
8,000 miles to go.
Would that they all be as sublime as tonight.