The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Thu 31 Jul 2014 19:37



14:48S 153:06W


So far, we've done 128 miles with 460 miles to go. We’re now on a broad reach doing 5-6 knots in the 6-9 foot seas, heading towards Penryhn in the Cook Islands.  It’s lovely and sunny with fluffy white clouds at the moment.  Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


30 July 2014  Mai Tai Anchorage to Penrhyn, Cook Islands


We were up early and I downloaded a GRIB file, which confirmed that we should be okay going to Penrhyn - the nasty high winds should be staying well south of us.  Glenys gave me a shopping list and sent me off to the supermarket to spend the last of our Polynesian Francs.  Meanwhile, she started cooking food for the first couple of days at sea because we thought that it might be a bit bouncy and it'll take a couple of days for us to regain our sea legs.  When I got back, I lashed the dinghy on the foredeck and made sure we were all shipshape.


We dropped the mooring at 10:30 and motored out through the pass into a very lumpy sea, with a 12 foot swell.  The first couple of hours were difficult with variable winds in the lee of the island and we had to gybe the genoa a few times before the wind settled down to a constant direction.


Unfortunately, the wind was directly behind us, so I had to spend half an hour rigging up the spinnaker pole and fixing the genoa out to starboard.  We put a preventer on the main boom and fixed that out to port, then rolled off downwind.  The wind was good with 15-22 knots across the deck, but the sea was horrible with the big 4 metre waves pushing us around.

I went to bed for a couple of hours in the afternoon and when I got up, the wind had backed 20 or 30 degrees, so we gybed the genoa and altered course onto a broad reach.  There was no change by nightfall apart from the seas quieting down a little.


There was no moon, but the clouds cleared away and we had a good night with bright starlight illuminating the sea.  It was very rolly and as usual, both of us found it difficult to sleep in between our three hour watches.