troughs and friends

Gudrun V
Axel Busch
Mon 10 Sep 2012 10:49
Monday, 2012-09-10, 0:00 UTC-10, 18:19.450S, 158.34:601W, COG 260, SOG 6kn, Wind 20kn E

The afternoon was nice and quiet. Wind only about 17kn, and the sun came out, and the sea got calmer. Around nightfall it rained again and now the wind is gusty and the sea is a little rougher, so I'm waiting for stronger wind.

I'm sailing only with the genoa. The main would give me another knot, maybe knot and a half of speed. But 6kn isn't exactly slow, and with the main-sail up come all the worries and work and also higher load on the autopilot. Not to forget shade on the solar panels, which means I'd propably have to turn off the fridge. Which is full of cheese, and wouldn't that be sad? So ... no main at the moment. Might change tomorrow when the wind is supposed to drop a little and I slow down.

Venus (Gisela) forwarded me Bob McDavitt's Weathergram, which I had subscribed to but with the wrong email (ehem). Bob's talking about a convergence zone over Fiji and Tonga turning into a trough on Thursday and then move southeast. That is NZ time, so everything is happening one day earlier for me. Which means I might just make it to Niue before wind and waves pick up, or I might just not. ETA is Friday morning. Maybe I should re-consider about the main-sail? :-p. Well, not tonight.

Then I got an email from E Capoe (Andre), saying that they arrived in Suwarow two days ago after a fast passage, and that it's very nice and the park wardens are super friendly. There were more than 30 boats when they arrived, but after seeing E Capoe half of them took to the oars yesterday and ran away. Or sth like that ;-)

That reminds me that I won't see many of my friends again. A very few (e.g. Venus/Gisela+Uwe) decided to stay another season in French Polynesia. Understandable, fantastic place. Some take the southern route west (via Cook Islands), some the nothern route (via Suwarow/Samoa), and only a few the middle (Niue). Then most seem to go to Australia without stopping in New Zealand, and others (e.g. Moyomo/Matt and Miepke/Andreas+Nana) decided that neither Kiwi nor Kangaroo is of any interest to them and they'd rather get back to the Atlantic/Caribbean quickly.

You'd think that sailing is a very lonely activity - especially when sailing alone. But in fact it's a ather large and very open and friendly community of people with a common interest and often similar values, so naturally friendships form quickly. Add some bonding by having lived through the same ordeals and you get pretty strong friendships. I'll miss my friends, and all the socialising at the anchorages. Dinghying from boat to boat, sharing meals and beers and stories, and helping with repairs and planning. It's a nice life. Not very comfortable or useful, but it definitely resonates with some old instinct deep inside.