April 12

At 5am the conditions were much as they were the previous night. A light rain was falling and the swells were increasing somewhat. We rolled up the genoa at 7:30am local when a squall approached. It brought little additional wind and little rain and by 8am we had the genoa out again.

At 06:45am local time the captain was on watch in the cockpit just at down when he noticed a buoy fifty yards ahead on the stbd side. Still on auto-pilot the boat slid past the buoy about 10-12 feet away. The buoy was made up of two small red balls tied together about 1-2ft diameter. One of them had an antenna sticking up about 6ft high. They had no labels or markings and I assume it was a lost locator buoy from a tuna boat (not that we have seen any fishing vessels - we've seen only one ship since leaving Mexico and that was over a week ago - its just a hunch. I do not believe that it was anchored in place, but took its coordinates anyway as 07 36.48N by 123 47.19W.

At 10am local time (17:00UT) the Queen Jane is proceeding on a course of 229M at about 7k in about 15-20k wind from the NNE. The seas remain lumpy but mainly from the North at 10ft. The skies are partly clear with some intense sun. Some rain squalls can be seen in the distance.

This morning the weather forecaster Don who has been providing daily updates to the fleet has changed his recommended waypoint for crossing the ITCZ (Inter-Tropical convergence Zone - the zone of doldrums and variable winds separating the NE trades North of the Equator from the SE trades South of the equator) which is a zone constantly in flux.

His old recommendation was to cross at 3N 134W and now he recommends 5N 125W. On this mornings radio net there was some discussion about the wisdom of this suggestions and the High Seas Weather broadcast puts the ITCZ at 6N at 125W not 5N. I think we are going to split the difference and head for 5N 126.22W about 80nm West of his point hoping to get further away from the ITCZ.

At 4:30pm local time we are sailing smoothly in about 15-20k wind from the NNE in seas from the NNE at 4-6ft. We are sailing wing-and-wing as we have been since yesterday and are making about 7k over ground on a heading of 236M.