On our way to Niue
It often seems that whenever one put in or takes out a reef the wind does the opposite of what is expected. The forecast was for more wind and moving further South ie forward which both means we need less sail area. So we put two reefs in at 1830 local time since we were doing 9 to 10 lnots but the boat wasn't very balanced. So what happens, the wind stays the same direction and over the next few hours drops, although as I write this the wnd has cinversely jumpoed to 21 to 22 knots so we are now doing 8.6 knots of boat speed and 8.2 knots SOG (speed over the ground). Whats the difference and why, I hear the non sailors and pilots amongst you. Well the boat speed is the speed through the water, whereas the SOG is the same but with the current component added or subtracted. So you can see we have tide against us, it always is when you want it with you and conversly when trying to slow down to get into a harbour in daylight there is always lots of tide with you, making slowing down even harder.
Sometime today we should arrive in the independent island of Niue. Used to be a British colony but it got indepence in the 90's I believe and is now self governing but 'in free association with New Zealand' the prvious administrator. Think this means that foreign affairs and defence is handled by NZ and that Niueans are British subjects with NZ citizenship. Apparently more than 20,000 Niueans (I do hope this is the correct collective term) live in NZ. Which is 10 plus times more than live on Niue.
The temperatures are suppose to be quite a bit cooler than French Polynesia, not cold, but there is a chill outside tonight, its 0140 in the niring as I type this on watch. When I say chill, its probably 23 deg C woth a water temp of 28.5, feels cool to me, guess we are all getting acclimatised.
Should be able to update you on what Niue is like tomorrow. If we get there in time, ie before 1500 local time we can get ashore to the welcome BBQ.