The Queen Jane sailed through most of the night in good wind on the same
heading of 235M we have been steering for some time. At about 4am however
the wind diminished and shifted about during a series of small squalls
passing and by 5am the wind was from the North East at 15k. We adjusted
course to the West to avoid having to reset the sails in the dark.
At daylight we gibed the main over and struck the spinnaker pole and took
up a course with the wind about 130 degrees off the stbd quarter. At 8am
we are on a heading of 185M (194True) making 6k over ground in 15k wind
from the NE. We have calculated that we are in the ITCZ now and expect to
exit the band of unstable and variable conditions sometime tomorrow.
At 6pm local time we have been making excellent time today on a broad
reach in 15-20k wind from the NE. Right now we are on a heading of 180M
making 7.5k over ground and the conditions remain unchanged.
At 11pm tonight, for the first time since leaving Mexico we started the
engine and are now motoring South at 6k in 6k of wind from the NE. The
Queen Jane was making about 2.4k over ground when we decided to use the
engine and it would have been ok if the swells weren't making the sails
slat around making the most awful noises.