So close, as always!
May 21, 2012 - Day 61 27.8328N,92.0439W
Here I am, on para-anchor today, waiting out the latest episode of northerly winds. This should be no surprise to anyone by now! The boat's southerly drift is only a half knot slower at 0.9 knots average; the main advantage of the para is that my bow, hence cabin door is facing upwind and the wait is more tolerable with the cross breeze in the cabin.
I have given up any expectations, hopes, or plans. I am just waiting for a break. Since May 12th, the unrelenting northerly component in the winds has frustrated my efforts to move north. The forecast is for NW winds tomorrow then it will turn more southerly. With that I have to reach anchor depth further north within the oil fields.
The period of these extended northerly winds has been every 8 days, and they last at least a few days. That means I would have perhaps 4-5 days before the next batch of northerly winds arrive.
The tropical storm Alberto formed off SE USA on Saturday and yesterday it was 100 miles south of Charleston. It is forecast to move NE and away from me. However these periodic lows which form in the Caribbean, then pass over Cuba and progress along SE USA are the reason for my north winds. The lows rotate counter clockwise and on their western extremes, create these contrary winds.
The oil platforms have not been too bad, they are sparse this far out. The depth below me is about 700 meters. There is daily helicopter flight around me to service these installations in addition to their support vessels.
Migrating birds are fewer now, probably because I am west of the Yucatan Peninsula, their logical launch point. In addition to the swallows, I encountered over a dozen individuals which I think were hummingbirds. One flew right over me with its wings a black blur, grey belly, red chest and I believe some yellow around the red. I may be wrong about the yellow... It is another wonder of nature that a bird about twice the size of a bumblebee can muster the strength, energy and resolve to take on such long passages.