Near, but not near enough

The voyage so far has not been exactly as I expected. But I guess there in lies the problem: Expectation... As mentioned in my last post from out here, the wind shadow created by the Big Island sheilded us from big seas and strong winds, yet the shelter didn't last long before Constellation was flying amongst rather large walls of water. Eventually things calmed, and then calmed a little too much, until the big sea remained, and the wind disappeared... Being becalmed is hard enough, but being becalmed in a swell is enough to want to make you jump off the ship. The wind did return, went away, returned, the sea flattened, and I watched DVD's to pass the time, with stars reflecting on a glassy ocean. Surrounded by odd weather systems, and Tropical Storm Hilda hovering around to our east, the weather as I've been trying to explain has been unpredictable, and frankly not what I expected. Not to mention the fishing: Are there any fish left, may I ask? Or have the great Tuna clippers drained the Pacific? I've seen the pictures in Kontiki, as Thor hauled fish after fish aboard: I've hauled nothing aboard except an empty line. Not only have I not seen fish, I've not really seen anything at all. Not a ship, not a plane, just a few bits of rubbish, and a coconut drifting by.

There is however, no point displaying disappointment in all this, because it is what it is, but I guess I just expected steady trades all the way down to Palmyra, and a fish or two to keep my cans of beef stew unopened... And so, with 280nm to go, the wind is predicted to shift right onto my nose, and I have no idea when we might make landfall...

For those interested, I'm in the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) right now, which is a band of strangeness (yes, I am a meteorologist...) hovering near the equator, creating hot, humid and squally conditions. It's too hot outside to enjoy the cooling breeze, and down below it feels like the chart table is melting and my mind is turning to mush. There is no escape... And yes, I have seriously considered redirecting to British Columbia.

[Sorry folks, this should have gone up a few days ago, but it got spam-trapped for some reason. - Marty.]