I’ve enjoyed the doldrums more than I thought I would. The storms and clouds are breathtaking. Sunsets and sunrises are exciting mixes of colors, textures and dark angry clouds. The boat is clean, which I like. It gets a daily dousing of warm, tropical rain from storms that roll through. The wind has decreased and we aren’t getting tossed around in the northern tradewinds anymore. We’re motoring a lot. The ocean waves lap gently around Magic instead of crashing into us.

It’s been raining a lot. When the skies open up all the hatches have to close, leading to a condition we’ve been calling jungle boat. It’s moist and steamy, hot and humid. The lack of air flow causes the humidity to rise. Jungle boat can drive you mad, especially when you’re trying to sleep. The cure is simple and effective: a complete cold dousing of hair and body with the outside water hose. There is something about dripping with cold water and allowing the tradewinds to whisper gently over you which calms that jungle boat feeling.

We crossed the equator and are in the South Pacific now. We’ve been dancing in and out of the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone) as we make our way south. We heard intimidating accounts of the ITCZ and the violent thunderstorms it can produce, but when we got there we were surprised to find pleasant, calm conditions.

We get a lot of small rainstorms, called squalls. We avoid them if they are large, but mostly they just dump rain and the wind increases a little. We monitor our radar and when we see big green globs moving slowly across the screen we know a squall is coming.

We reef the sails to reduce their size and power. We close the hatches and hide in our delightful jungle boat enclosure as the sky gets dark and rain hammers the boat.

Overall, we enjoy the squalls and haven’t found them to be scary or intense. The top wind speed we’ve seen is about 25 knots, but squalls are capable of producing hurricane force wind. Conditions vary widely in the ITCZ, and I would say we are doing all right.

Except for that jungle boat thing. That is not all right. I relish each degree we gain south of the equator, moving ever closer to cooler and more tolerable temperatures.


Lisa Hackett

About the Author

Hi, I’m Lisa. I’m a tall, blonde superhero and I live in a van. I do it all. I rappel big waterfalls, drive from Idaho to Alaska solo, live and work in a van in the wilderness and dodge encounters with wolves and bears. Seriously. More

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Lisa. I’m a tall, blonde superhero and I live in a van and on a sailboat with my superhero husband, Brian. I do it all. I rappel big waterfalls, scuba dive with sharks, dodge encounters with bears and wolves, and work remotely as a full time computer programmer.
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About the Van

Hi, I’m Vanifest. I’m a big, 4x4, off-the-grid van complete with solar panel for power. I'm a 2000 Dodge Ram Van and Lisa has had me since 2009. Read more about me here.

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