!!Squalls to the left of us!!
!!Squalls to the right of us!!
This is the sixth day of our little ITCZ cat-and-mouse game, which has been a series of: Duke it out; sail into clear weather; see trade wind clouds ahead; heave a sigh of relief; at sunset, heave a sigh of dismay when POW! It comes back to sit on us as the axis moves right over us again. Hey! It likes us! Awww...
We'd like to know if there's some kind of prize given to the boat with the most ITCZ clobberings.
Now, though, we're realizing that the squalls are losing the punch of the ones from the other night, and are mostly dark blobs of rain... with lightning. The good news is we've never lacked for wind, and may have set a surfing speed record for a Dana 24 (have GPS photo for proof.) The bad news is with all the overcast, the solar panel hasn't charged the batteries enough to keep them at a decent level, so at 0815 we started the engine and are still heading due south, trying to cut through the murk at a right angle. With the the Equatorial Current sweeping us west, the actual course is 190. We'll motor for about 6 hours and then will resume sailing in the light airs, in hopes the ITCZ won't chase us further south.
What a pleasure to hear the engine roar to life so easily after 18 days. The heavy-duty alternator poured 80 amps into our 2 thirsty Odyssey batteries and had therm charged in three hours. All the hard work Jim did on the mechanical/electrical systems is paying off.
It's hot hot hot. Hot enough to melt the waxy frosting off the last of our lemon biscotti. But we're less than 180 miles from the Equator, Hooah!