16 Jun ITCZ
This is the last I saw of the sun. That was 3 days ago.
Since then, we’ve been playing tag with the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone. ITCZ for short. If you sound it out carefully, it is pronounced Eye-Tro-Chuz. As in the conditions are eyetrochuz.
For some meteorological mystery, the ITCZ keeps passing over me heading north, then does an about face, heads south and passes over me again. The last time, it did an end-around and passed over me East to West masquerading as a trough.
All this coming and going translates to a continuous parade of heavy cumulonimbus rain and showers accompanied by sustained winds of 34 plus knots and higher gusts. Seas are a jumbled mess of a 9-14′ Easterly swell, a 4-6′ Northerly swell, and wind wave to 4′ from every direction. We sail on a close-reach trying to maintain a heading of 345T and take a non-stop, inhuman beating for our efforts. At 4pm local today, I slowed down when my nerves finally gave out seeing solid water pouring into the cockpit after coming over the bow. I figured that home was still a long swim away and sailing the boat to bits at this point in the trip seemed somewhat unwise.
In a word, conditions were eyetrochuz.
Finally, tonight we will be clear of the convective bands of cumulonimbus clouds and the associated miserable seas. Tomorrow should see us in the Northeast trades proper and the sun, long since absent, should make an appearance at least long enough to for a sextant sight. My navigation in all this has devolved to guessing and finger-pointing.
By tomorrow morning, we should be on the Hawaii side of 13N. It seems crazy to even be thinking that Hawaii is literally around the next corner. Crazier still is that it will be at least 13N before we get a sniff of the Northeast Trades.
Tomorrow, if the trades are willing to cooperate, we set our sights squarely on Hawaii. Tomorrow should be a good day. Maybe the best day in a long while.
Follow my tracks in real-time: