1400 miles from Los Angeles!

Over the last twenty-four hours, I’ve been seeing, for the first time, various flotsam and jetsam floating by. Mostly small plastic containers or fragments. I think I see something every four or five miles.

There are three equatorial currents. The north and south currents flow east to west. The middle counter-equatorial current is the fastest, with a flow of around one knot, and flows west to east. I suspect that this acts as a natural sink for the refuse to accumulate.

I can tell I’m in this current as I have to modify my compass course by about 10° to maintain a true course. This is, of course, on top of the allowance for magnetic deviation. Magnetic deviation is due to a different location of the true North Pole and the magnetic pole.

One of the more edifying aspects of my north course has been the gradual change in deviation. In the roaring forties, the deviation was 25 degrees east. I.e. to maintain a course of 90°, you hold a compass course of 65°. Now, the deviation is 10° east and it decreased by half a degree each day.

So, with the current as it is, I’m back to a deviation of 20°. Quite the nostalgia!

In my update yesterday, I mentioned steady winds and blue skies, but I wasn’t game to mention the words ‘trade winds’.

I’ve had a steady, if not at times weak, north westerly wind all day, from which I’ve made a respectable 90 miles. The prevailing trade winds are north easterly, however I think the storms to the east caused the lower portions to swing around.

I’m 1400 miles from Los Angeles, but I will almost certainly have head winds for the majority of this, so the actual length sailed could be an extra 30-50%! The future will tell!

I had quite the visit from a pod of dolphins today. About twenty of them swam with me for hours, at times only inches from the bow of the boat. They were all bedecked with a pretty green speckled line running down their flanks. At times they would release a stream of waste that was identical in colour to the speckled adornments.

Playing with dolphins

They gradually left me and finally all that remained were two young looking dolphins that swam amorously together, flippers touching the entire time. It warmed the cockles of my heart to see them dance innocently in front of my bow, whispering sweet nothings to each other.

Latitude: 10.211, Longitude: -123.218, Time: 05:17:46 14-06-2018 UTC