Jon Sanders blog: The pacific Pacific

Jon Sanders is crossing the Pacific from east to west on his 10th circumnavigation of the globe. His amusing blogs contain gems of wisdom as well as plenty of entertainment value.

When Magellan entered the Pacific from the Straight that bears his name it was pleasingly calm.

He named the Pacific. “Pacific”.

Anything but. (So it can be).

Except today, yesterday and probably tomorrow.

Frustrating. No not at all. Quiet gentle wind 7/8 knots sometimes 9/10. Paul Stratfold has routed me into the west-going current.

Yesterday making 3 – 3 1/2 kts. Same wind today 4 to 4 1/2 kts at times 5 to 6. Nearly all blue sky, gentle sea. Broad reach. Cool to warm (extension of Peru current), yacht has 8 degree heel to starboard. That's the right hand side of the boat. (I mean yacht).

Days later (writing later) much the same as above with a little more wind and helpful current.

I am starved for any news of the world. What is Donald doing, or should I say “saying”. Shows how dumb I am. I would have thought if you didn't want to get elected, you would say all the things he said.

Never the less the US government editorials on Voice of America come across, pragmatic, informative (government opinion).

This is half way point between Panama and Tahiti. It's a radio desert.

How is New Zealand doing in the Americas Cup? I don't know. Not yet.

But when I reach the longitude of the Marquises Archipelago (part of French Polynesia) I start receiving BBC, VOA (Voice of America), Radio New Zealand (NZ) and more to the west, Radio Australia (AUS). When I get even more west I get Radio NZ and Radio Aus most of the time – they beam to their region.

I receive the radio broadcasts via my multiple frequency and channel “Barrett”. SSB radio on short wave.

Back in the 1970s and 80s. I could find the BBC World service in much of the worlds oceans.

Not so much now, plus less entertainment content.

Then one could get Radio Moscow just about everywhere. Boring Russian accent English.

Those were the days when the BBC reception was jammed in Moscow.

That was when the KGB would jump in their cars, go out of Moscow and tune into the BBC, find out what was actually going on.

As different from pretending their own propaganda – Have you ever noticed the alternative to the word propaganda – is “Tripe”.

(Blimey I used to think you ate it).

As Paul forecast. I got the weather he wrote. Steady mild trade winds 14 to 18 kts mild sea – to begin. Good current up to 2 kts sometimes. Ideal boat motion and progress.

He also forecast lumpy big swells coming from severe depressions far far south.

They came. The mild salubrious sea went all over the place. Hold on making coffee stuff.

At the moment the wind is mild, the sea a bit lumpy. But got two reefs in the mainsail. Comfortable. What's the hurry?

It is common along this region trade wind track for the barometer to drop a couple of points and the trade wind cumulus clouds to become heavier and blacker.

With the cloud before the rain and when it is raining to get a squall. It can be strong. Usually at night.

Larger yachts often with paid crew and yacht fitted with one rope endless reefing system plus electric winches do 1000s of $s damage to their expensive mainsails and some rigging.

Then the rain cloud passes, there might be a lull in the wind – down to 10 or 12 kts.

A trap for some. More big clouds do come. Wait.

10 days back I passed through the Chinese fishing fleet. 5 days further on a bulk carrier (4 NM) going NW. Cargo of dunno.

2 days further on a cargo ship (20 NM) turned up on AIS (B&G screen). Also going NW.

That is my shipping report. (Not much traffic).

Regards to all. Like me, enjoy mild and quiet down wind sailing. I’ve got that just now.