Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Dodging lightening in the doldrums

It is 6:15 am but it is still jet black outside, apart from the
occasional flashes of lightening which are lighting up the whole sky.
They are coming from a huge thunderstorm cloud to our right which is
clearly visible on the radar screen and appears to be a couple of
miles wide. Using the radar we have managed to find our way through the
squall clouds over the last couple of hours and it is quite
reassuring to see the dark blobs on the screen moving behind us as we
put more distance between them and us. It is raining and the decks have
had a good rinse; the wind freshened a few hours ago and has veered 180
degrees in the last half hour, and Tintin's motion is a bit more rocky
than it has been for days in the lumpy seas produced by the squall.

Yesterday evening we were treated to a beautiful calm sunset, with two
shearwater seabirds flying in perfect formation around us for almost an
hour. We saw a couple of anvil topped towering clouds in the
distance and wondered if we might encounter our first doldrum squalls

After the sun had gone down, out of nowhere we suddenly found ourselves
passing through a band of drifting branches and logs, coconuts and a
small amount of rubbish. Rob went to the bow to point out the
ones to miss... Looking around it was clear that the currents of the
ocean were at work - the water looked smooth in some places and
ruffled in others (with no wind to speak of). Maybe it was some sort of
eddy produced between the south equatorial current (taking us west)and
the eastbound equatorial counter current to the north. It is easy to
see how a tortoise might have made it from the mainland to the
Galapagos Islands all those years ago, clinging to a log. What tenacity!

No comments: