05/24/2010, 17 nautical miles North East of Cabo la Vela
Today, there was a breakthrough. I would not put it: "that we
felt that we mastered the spinnaker for the first time on QRIII". That
would be to test faith. However, we can definitely claim that we got the
hang of it. The conditions were good; flat seas and 8-13 knots of wind.
We flew it for 3.5 hours in the afternoon. It helped our speed and it
is certainly a beautiful sail. It has a tendency to destabilize the boat
swinging from port to starboard, but it wasn't too bad. I could almost
relax for a moment, despite it being hoisted.
The morning started a bit murky. Absence of direct sunlight is a great relief to the heat, but there was a hazy light grey air all around. By midday, our little part of the world was basking in sunlight again. We have two butterflies onboard. Hope they make it to Cartagena. We should hopefully be there on Wednesday afternoon. We need day light and office hours as both the approach and clearing in procedures are tricky.
The progress was painfully slow through most of last night and today. We knew from our weather forecasts that winds would be light, however to our surprise we also encountered a counter current of up to 1.5 knots that is slowing us down. The Equatorial current ought to be running 1-2 knots in our favour. Quite possibly, we went to close to Peninsula de Guajira and the current flow in the opposite direction inshore. We are slowly working ourselves down the Colombian coast. That is cool and exotic; the Colombian coast!