Position Report on Monday 19th May 2014

The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Mon 19 May 2014 17:27

Position Report on Monday 19th May 2014 at 0800


10:52.8S 141:29.9W


So far, we've done 140 miles with 385 miles to go.  In the last 22 hours, we’ve done 140 miles.  We’re sailing at 6-7 knots in 6 foot seas, heading on a course of 305 degrees and heading for Kauehi in the Tuamotus.  It's a nice day with 75% coverage of fluffy clouds.  Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


18 May 2014   Daniel’s Bay to Tuamotus (Day 1)

It was half past nine by the time that we'd tidied up and prepared ourselves for the 525 mile passage to Kaeuhi atoll in the Tuamotus.  There was a big six foot swell coming straight into the narrow entrance of the bay, so it's not surprising that it was a little rolly in the anchorage.  At least there was a very nice 15 knot wind from the south east that boded well for our south-west course.


We had a good day sailing on a boisterous reach.  The wind was a little inconsistent, but we had a favourable current of at least a knot.  As usual, we were both a little restless on the first day of this passage, finding it hard to settle into it.


The Tuamotus are on a different time zone to the Marquesas, so we decided to alter our clocks to the Tuamotus time of -10 UTC.  Having changed all of the clocks on board, we then realised that sunset would be at 1700 hrs, which wouldn't fit in very well with our normal three hour watches.  We normally have dinner just before sunset and then Glenys goes to bed at 1900 hrs.  Being on Tuamotus time would mean that she'd be sitting around in the dark for an hour, so we changed our clocks to -9 UTC and are now running in the Alba time zone and mildly confused.


We had an unpleasant night.  The sky was overcast and we had small shower systems passing over us every hour or so.  As each system approached, the wind would drop to 10 knots and veer, then increase to over 20 knots and back as the system went overhead.  It was made worse because it was so dark that we couldn't see the showers approaching.  Rather than keep reefing every time, we left the sails alone and lived with bobbing along with slatting sails in the lulls and then screaming along for ten minutes when the shower hit us.  If the squall was strong, then we would run downwind for a few minutes until it had abated - not very restful.


Amazingly, at our 0400 watch change, a cargo ship loomed over the horizon and passed just 1.5 miles to our starboard.  Naturally, when it was close to us, the wind picked up to 25 knots and we had a bouncy ride for ten minutes, not daring to run downwind towards the ship.  I guess that it was a freighter taking supplies from Tahiti to Nuku Hiva