Although I enjoyed another 200+ mile day yesterday, conditions are much milder now, and things are slowing down. I normally calculate my day’s run based on 8am to 8am log entries, but my actual best run was from 2pm Thursday to 2pm Friday, when I covered 232 miles, a 9.7 knot average. I don’t expect to repeat that.
I am passing the region of small countries- yesterday I left Brazil and entered French Guiana. This morning I am 100 miles off the coast of Suriname, and will cross into the waters of Guyana this afternoon. Then tomorrow I should cross into Venezuela, and other than a bunch of island nations along the way, I should be with Venezuela for 5 or 6 days.
Each morning now, as part of my 8am routine of log entries and chart plotting and email, I calculate my ETA (estimated time of arrival) into Panama, based on a variety of potential speeds. For example, if I average 200 miles a day the whole time (the high end), I would get there late on the 14th. If I only average 150 miles a day (the low end), I would get there the morning of the 17th. Most likely it will be somewhere in between. But the countdown is on, and my anticipation is growing!
One of the hardest things about a voyage like this is being away from family for so long. Sure, I have email, and make brief daily sat phone calls, but its just not the same. A week feels like vacation, 2 weeks starts feeling a little bit long. This leg will be about 34 days at sea- far too long. One alternative is to stop and cruise along the way, to break things up, but then one month turns into three. Another alternative is to put the boat on a ship, but those costs are astronomical. So I’ll keep using all the free wind I can, and look forward to making up for lost time with loved ones when its over.
4/7 8am 8.28N 55.48W 3953nm gone, 1516nm to go.