We have been motoring no stop since we left Santa Cruz yesterday at 14:00, keeping the revs below 1200 rpm maximise fuel efficiency. As night fell we were passing between the islands of Isabella to starboard and Floreana to port, with the current adding 1.5 knots to our speed. We have had all sail set to try to catch the very slight breeze, an d eventually today it was reaching 10 knots and the sails stopped slatting.
Mark had a birthday breakfast with balloons, thanks to Emily, and got rather a lot of chocolate presents! Emily also produced a couple of surprises at teatime - a delicious freshly baked chocolate cake and a piñata shaped lie a ukelele! With that, and a salsa Cd from me we had quite a party !
Our slow day across the gently rolling swell was enlivened by occasional bird visitors: boibies, black headed laughing gulls, a skua, a tropic bird. We also had leaping manta rays, sea lions and some dolphins that seemed to get higher above the horizon than seems physically possible. I thought that 120 miles from land was quite surprising for the sealions.
We refilled the main diesel tanks with 58litres from our deck jerrycans, and I was reassured to fund that we are indeed using about 1 litre per hour at low revs. Giving a range of about 3000 miles at this slow 5 knot pace which would take us to the Marquesas in about 24 days if the wind refused to blow.
At sunset Justin produced an excellent Thai chicken dish with noodles, followed by fresh pineapple, and then once darkness had fallen Mark constructed a fire ship from the remains of the cardboard piñata and other packaging, and set his flaming creation off astern where it rose and fell over the swell burning with a cheerful light for a long time. Most satisfying!