Green flash at sunrise
Avatiu is Rarotonga's commercial harbour with a rough wall against which we had moored “stern to”. We had one nasty moment when the wind moved into the north and we were being pushed towards a rusting and listing trawler which was moored beside us.
We moved off and anchored in the newly constructed harbour for local fishing boats, and spent a day anchor-watching but in smoother water. Unfortunately the wind changed again during Thursday night and we swung near the underwater reef, necessitating some urgent night-time up-anchoring and mooring stern-to against the fishing boat quay. Infinitely nicer!
In the meantime great excitement broke out on deck with cries of “it’s a whale”, and “no, it’s a whole pod of whales”. As we motored closer, ‘it’ was clearly not a whale but was instead a large wooden buoy with seabirds sitting on it. Excitement over.
Since Friday, we have been motoring into around 2 to 4 knots of wind on a relatively calm sea. Although there have been huge rollers coming gently at us from the port quarter, the surface of the sea has from time to time been completely glassy and smooth – an incredible experience when we are in the middle of the Pacific and 250 miles from the nearest land. This vast sea area was selected by NASA as the landing zone for their Apollo astronauts returning from the moon.
Our 24 hour runs have been low – 129 and
138 miles respectively for the past two days with an average speed of 5.1 knots
- but we are enjoying the wonderful sunshine and the opportunity to sleep well
at night. We have also stopped for
a swim each day – the sea is amazingly blue and warm despite there being 16,500
feet of it below us, and so clear that you can see down at least
Night watches have become increasingly popular as we have had a full moon and clear starry skies all night. Our little LED head torches have been put back in their boxes as we have great natural light throughout ‘the dark hours’. At around (our time = BST minus 11) on Sunday morning, Andy saw a one-second green flash as the sun rose above the horizon. We know this is only supposed to happen at sunset, but Andy is adamant it was real and not an as yet undiagnosed problem with his eyesight.
We have still to land a fish since Max’s departure,
but are comforted by the knowledge that the
Yesterday and today we saw some other ‘traffic’ for
the first time since leaving
The Grib files tell us there is currently very little
wind between here and