200 to go to Apia and I don't have any idea what day it is. The reason
is that I think the dateline is somewhere around here but none of the
resources I have on board mention the position of the dateline. From
memory Tonga is a day ahead and the boats position is past that so I
think its Saturday but it might be Sunday. I may arrive in Apia on
Monday but it may be Tuesday. Is there anyone out there who can help
this silly old codger out? Not that it makes a great deal of difference
and it just adds to the intrigue of landing in a strange port. Never
mind, I have my Q flag ready, and my documents are in order. The Q flag
is a yellow flag that must be flown by vessels that haven't cleared
customs and immigration.
When I left Suwarro I mentioned I had trouble with the anchor and that
Terry from Teka Nova gave me a hand to get the anchor up. After I put
the anchor in the locker I always put the outboard fuel tank in there as
it is a safe place to store it. Unfortunately I've discovered that the
fuel hose from the tank has managed to entwine itself with the roller
furling for the headsail and been sliced up. Today's project is to see
if I can unentwine (creative vocabulary 101) it and repair the hose or
whether a replacement is required. After rowing the dinghy in various
places including Suwarro, the outboard is much more than a luxury. The
inflatable is very difficult to row to windward, it feels like you only
get a few inches per stroke as the wind pushes you backwards so
effectively. Downwind of course is a pleasure but the outboard is a must
in strong wind.
The wind is down to 10 and the waves seem to be settling down even
though the occasional large swell comes through just to make sure you
pay attention. Got to keep one hand holding something at all times.
Still the softening wind is a good thing as it should mean good timing
for arriving at the port of Apia. I hope to arrive in the morning so
that all formalities can be finalised that day, whichever day that is.
I have deliberately run down all the provisions on the boat. Tahiti was
very expensive for shopping so I only got enough to get to Samoa, just.
I have one bottle of wine, two cans of beer, plenty of bottled water and
some canned food as well as packets of noodles. I'm hoping there is a
decent restaurant in Apia as I'm craving a steak fix. That and some
fresh vegetables or a ceaser salad mmmmmmmm. Ah the fantasies that
sailors indulge in.