Posted by: Carol | February 24, 2009

En route to French Polynesia

feb-24-halfwayRaven set sail last Monday morning from La Paz on her way to the Marquesas in French Polynesia. Here in Tucson Mike and I have been receiving daily email reports from Rod giving us some pertinent details and updated position reports. Our international crew aboard consists of Captain Rod (a native Kiwi), Brit expat and part-time crew member Nick, and Rod’s Filipino wife Geraldine.

Today they passed the halfway mark, sailing into the Intercontinental Convergence Zone (ITCZ) – an exceptionally rainy area near the equator, from about 5° north and 5° south, where the northeast trade winds and southeast trade winds converge in a low pressure zone also known to sailors as the Doldrums .  Here Raven passed through rain and squalls in what sounds like an exciting bit of sailing.

Here is the Google Earth track to date (marked in yellow, with Raven’s destination marked in green) and the daily log of Captain’s reports en route.

Feb. 16 – We have just arrived at Los Frailes 23.22N 109.25W – no wind today as expected……….40 miles to Cabo for fuel 2mrow and hope to be leaving Cabo by 1pm.
cheers rod

Feb. 17 – We left Cabo at 1200 and are now at 22.31N 110.14w, sailing in 15knts of NW……..alls well.
cheers rod

Day 1 Feb. 18 – Shortly after my email of yesterday, the wind eased to 10 and shifted to the North………motorsailing until 7am this morning……we now have 12 to 14 knts of Northerly, just enough to sail with main and reacher. At 1200 today we are at 20.33n and 112.27w making 196 miles good for our first 24 hours, but at the expense of 16 hours of diesel consumption. Outlook, looks more of the same with a slight wind increase…..I hope so !!
cheers rod

Day 2 Feb. 19 – We had some wind and sailing yesterday afternoon, but dropped off to less than 5knts in the night………….Motorsailing again now……..but can’t keep doing this due to lack of diesel…….hopefully wind fills in today, but probably will be NE, so we can only head North of our course in a NE……now at 18.38n 115.12w……..192 miles as at 1200 for the 24 hours………2210 miles to go……N
cheers rod

Day 3 Feb. 20 – Mike, Yap I hope the ITCZ is as now in a week when we go through, I get a pretty good picture of it, with the rain on the gribs. The wind has moved around to ENE, but still too light for sailing……..about 12knts.
Position at 1200 16.18n 117.38w 2014nm to go , and 196 for the day
cheers rod

Day 4 Feb. 21 – The wind filled in from the ENE at 2400, we have been and are now sailing at about 8 knts with reacher and full main…….still a bad angle and we are about 20 degrees off course…..wind should go more east in the next few days. I had forgotten how smooth downwind sailing is………..and frustrating….. as you need plenty…20 to 25 is good.
Position at 1200 13.46n 119.17w 1837nm to go , and 177 for the day
cheers rod

today at 1200 …10.55n 120.48w. 1653 to go…..made good 183nm all sailing in between 15 to 25knts NNE…….25 for about 2 hours…..mostly 20knts
cheers rod

Day 6 Feb. 23 – Hi Mike and Carol, Wind still 15 to 25…..25 in small spells…out of the ENE….so still not a good angle….
08.29n 122.51w 193nm for the day……..1466 to go
alls well……fishing no good………cheeseburgers still tasting good !!!!
cheers rod

Day 7 Feb. 24 – w05.34n 124.22w 186nm for the day……..1280 to go.
We crossed 1/2 way today at 0930…9.5 hours behind schedule.
Yesterday we had a “nice squall”, cruising at 8s full main and reacher in 20knts……then squall (we had had 3 before all with no wind , just rain ).
The wind filled in after that and we have had 25 to 30 , but still really bad angle NE.
Today we crossed the ITCZ…….37knts…….hand steering…..rain…..exciting !!!!  Niko got some footage of me steering in the ITCZ…..may look good ( lucky there was no significant convection …hahahha ).
Now all’s settling down suns out and we have 25 from slightly more east and are hoping the wind will continue east and last until the equator…….
alls well……
cheers rod



  1. May the winds be with you!!

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