Day 8, Passage to Easter Island

1245Z 04SEP19, Day 8, Ecuador to Easter Island. We continue to make direct progress and decent speed under favorable conditions. Though the conditions have also been a bit variable and a bit of work.

Current Position: 11 59S 094 07W
24 hour progress: 140nm, 5.8kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 1042nm with approximately 1250nm to go on the great circle route. Winds continue to vary but average between 10-15kts. We continue to pass through small cells that have small amounts of drizzling rain and lots of shifting winds. They do not include any thunder or lightning and they do not show up on radar. They are mostly just a bit annoying and make night sailing a bit more challenging than day sailing since we can't see when they are coming, though you can't always tell in the day either. We are able to hold a good course most of the time and are sailing between a close reach and a beam reach. The work comes in the need to trim and mind your heading through the variations. We have also seen stronger gusts over the last 24 hours so we have been keeping 2 reefs in the main which is fine until the short bouts of 5-10 knots of wind arrive. Then you bob around a bit before the wind picks back up, sometimes gusting to 20 or more within 30min or so of that slow period. We are starting to get used to the strange and irregular cycles.

The crew is back to normal and is excited to be approaching the halfway mark. A batch of brownies was made yesterday to lift morale as well. Our red-footed booby hitch hiker stayed with us throughout the day and night. He leaves for short fishing trips and returns to preen. He settles in to sleep in the late afternoon and is back to fishing and hitch hiking by daylight. We had a second one circling looking like he might also land last night before sunset, but he does not appear to have joined us. They can be so messy so we are hoping any hitch hikers stay on the anchor and are on good behavior. But inevitably birds circling your boat means their poop is somewhere - your sails, your deck, your canvas - and probably all of the above.

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