Sailing from Raiatea to Suwarrow

Take Off
Jörgen Wennberg
Tue 17 May 2016 01:57
15.38 S
155.01 W

Once the bad weather had passed, the rain with it the sun came and for 4 days and nights we had the best sailing ever! Easy trade winds, the sea had calmed down and we managed to fly the spinnacker a few hours per day. The night were beautiful giving us a sparkling night with a million stars! 

Alex and Inez played around by themselves, did some schooling and Alex invented a own game called the “World ARC” game, who would win for each leg...


We had beautiful sundowners, however the sunrise are always special after a night sailing. This is what it could like when the day wakes up.


The best with the mornings is to see two small “lintottar” half awake coming out in the cockpit. This time Inez had taken her blanket and a game of cards… “Good morning Mummy! Could you please play “vänd-tia” (turning-ten) with me?”… a few minutes later Alex would join too.


We had this very pleasant sailing for 4 days and nights, with approx 5-10 knots of wind. Not much, but just enough to keep the boat sailing in a pleasant pace. The night from the 18th to the 19th of May, the wind picked up quite rapidly (we hade no weather forecast for this at all). The night showed to be pretty messy with a wind speed of 24 knots shifting 30 degrees. The sea grew and the waves too. At 5h00 in the morning, in 25 knots of wind, we got a wind shift of 50 degrees giving us an unpredicted gybe. Helmer, our auto-pilot, had no chance to prevent the gybe and the bom flew through the bimi (our roof in tissue) ripping it off in different places as well as the sheet of the main sail took the legs of the table. 

An hour later the day lightened and we could be more clear about the damage. First we could see that the bimi was really ripped off in different places. 


Then we saw the table not being upright anymore. The sheet had taken the table twisting the legs so the feet cracked. They had started to crack however this made if off course worse.


We tried to understand how come the preventer had gone loose? Preventer is the sheet (rope) being attached to the end of the bom in to the side of the boat by the mast, in order to prevent a gybe. However the strap holding the preventer to the bom was gone! We were lucky as this strap was also holding the main sheet, but for safety reasons we had double strapped the main sheet to the bom. If not the bom would have been totally loose going back and forth in a crazy speed risking to brake other things or hurt us. Jörgen fixed this easily with another strap, now more tightened.


The day after while Jörgen was sleeping and Louise was on the watch, suddenly the genua just fell down on deck and in the water! Louise woke up Jörgen and managed to get the genua out from the water on deck. It was the schackel holding the haylward that had broken…. ok so more things to fix once arriving in the next anchorage.     

All in all, the last 36 hours of the sailing to Suwarrow was pretty tough. The wind continued to blow very hard, up to 25 knots of wind with more rain, dark clouds and more wind. These two last nights were very hard on us and neither Jörgen nor Louise got much sleep. Sailing in rough waves during day and night we did approx 8-9 knots constantly. We were exhausted when we finally arrived in Suwarrow!