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2 April 03
Dear friends & family,
At 6:45pm EST we were at 2° 28N, 80° 18W, or about 100 miles off the south Columbian Pacific coast, near the border with Ecuador (see map). We've sailed some 334 miles through the water and we have about 200 miles to go to Manta, Ecuador.
Typical squall and cloud formation in the ITCZ
We had a delightful sail today - didn't see a boat for 36 hours until we passed a tiny open fishing boat. We had a very peaceful night, ghosting along under full sail with Otto (the new autopilot) doing all the hard work. This morning the conditions were ideal, so we put up the spinnaker and flew it all day as the wind slowly died. Around 4pm we came to the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone - ITCZ. This is where the trade winds meet, and is characterized by clouds, squalls, and fluky winds. Sure enough, the wind died, we had a nice shower, and then the wind swung around 180°! So now we're beating into about 15 knots of wind under full jib and a reefed main, and not quite being able to keep a straight line to Manta. Also, our northerly swells have now met these southerly swells, so the sea is ... uncomfortable. Don't know how much sleep we'll get tonight, but perhaps conditions will moderate as we get closer to the coast of Ecuador (it starts getting rapidly closer now). We're all well, but I want to get to this delightful Mexican dinner Sue has prepared.
Cheers -- Jon, Sue, Chris & Amanda
s/v Ocelot, heading for the South Pacific!
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