Noon Position: 18 40.7 S 158 31.3 W
Course: West sou' west, Speed: 6 knots
Wind: South east, F4-5 moderate to fresh breeze
Weather: Overcast with sunny patches, occasional rain squalls, warm, moderate seas
Day's run: 140 miles
Not much to report, still windy with lumpy seas and a big swell running. Sylph is rolling quite heavily with sea and spray regularly breaking across her low decks. The rain squalls have gotten less frequent so now I can keep the companionway hatch mostly open which means it isn't so stuffy below. If all goes well we will arrive Aitutaki around midnight, which isn't much good either as we will not be able to enter until daylight. The channel is narrow and unmarked so probably the earliest we can go in is about 10 a.m. when the sun is reasonably high in the sky – and hopefully there will be some sun. Another minor problem is that tomorrow is Sunday so customs and immigration will charge me overtime to clear in and, as Aitutaki is part of the Cook Islands which is administered by New Zealand, I expect the authorities will be real sticklers for the rule book, just like Australia. At least the tide will be in my favour, flooding from 7 'til 13.30, not much of a tidal range, only 0.3 of a meter but as the channel is shallow, 6 feet at its minimum, this is better then nothing. So my plan for tonight is to see if we can tuck into the island's lee, hopefully get out of the worst of the swell and heave to for the night to await daylight. This will undoubtedly be interesting as the island and its atoll is only three miles long, so not much to hide behind, in fact just as likely to cause a cross swell wrapping around either end of it. Such are the joys of the cruising life.
All is well.