Yesterday was an exciting day as early in the morning we spotted a couple of AIS targets with mysterious names, FU111 and FU118, adrift at .5 to 1 knots, 10 to 15 miles out. Since we are literally in the middle of nowhere, my mind skipped to SpaceX rocket catchers, knowing Musk’s propensity for a good immature joke when it comes to naming things. We contacted our shore support peeps who assured us there was no rocket landing anywhere near us, which was slightly disappointing. I guess you can take the sailor girl out of Silicon Valley and in the middle of the Pacific, but you can’t take space exploration out of her mind. Petter was a bit more realistic, having figured out the more obvious answer would be a fishing fleet. Sure enough, a giant Chinese fishing vessel appeared on AIS, Fu Yuan, spawning more FU () AIS buoys marking what we assumed were fishing nets. We tacked out of the way for a couple of hours until we were clear of the vessels.
We made good speeds overnight, but we are back in the clutches of the western equatorial current, contrary to what our atlas and routing research might suggest. So we decided to follow Cornell’s advice and make some extra easting to make up for it and tacked again today, creeping above the Equator for a couple of more degrees before turning back down. The winds are also forecasted and observed to be from the SE today, so it’s slow going in the right direction.
The Equator is *right there*, waiting for us to cross it, but we must be patient and give it another day to find some more favorable winds. Nothing teaches you patience like being out at sea…
On the plus side, there is no shortage of food or coconut cookies on this passage like on the last one 😉
Aloha from Octavia and Petter