The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Sat 2 Aug 2014 19:46



11:26S 155:55W


So far, we've done 385 miles with 200 miles to go. We’re running downwind doing 4-5 knots in the 4-6 foot seas, heading towards Penryhn in the Cook Islands.  It’s lovely and sunny with fluffy white clouds at the moment. We only did 120 miles in the last 24 hours, so we’re probably going to arrive in the early hours of Monday 4th and have to heave to until dawn. Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


1 August 2014  Bora Bora to Penrhyn, Cook Islands (Day 3)

At around seven o'clock, Glenys gybed the genoa back across to port.  We had one heavy shower during the morning, which sucked all the wind away, so we motored for twenty minutes.  The rest of the day was lovely, bobbing along at 3-5 knots on a broad reach in six foot seas. We had quite a bit of cloud in the morning, but it brightened up later.


In the morning, I listened to the radio net and it's amazing the variation in reports from different areas.  Harry from "Malua" is down at 17 degrees and a lot further west, sailing directly to the Va'vau group in Tonga and reported winds over 30 knots from the southeast and huge seas.  The GRIB files forecast that Suwarrow will have some horrible heavy rain and squalls in two days time.  Touch wood, we should be okay up here.


We've dropped into our normal routine, with Glenys sleeping in the morning and me in the afternoon.  The rest of the time we're reading - not much else to do.  Glenys has started to make a courtesy flag for the Cook Islands.  We put out two fishing lines, but no luck yet.


By dusk, the wind had veered again and was more behind us, so we gybed the genoa back to starboard, poled out wing on wing.  I love this sail configuration.  We've found that we can have the genoa poled out to starboard even when the wind is up to 120 degrees on our starboard side.  You would think that the wind would get behind the genoa, but by moving the pole forwards, it stays inflated.  The main advantage, especially in light winds, is that both the main and genoa have clean air.


It was another lovely night, but the gentle rocking motion is very soporific.  Glenys had to wake me up three times at 0100 before I clawed my way out of deep sleep.  At 0400, we had a set of showers pass over us giving us confused winds dropping down to 5 knots then gusting up to 20 knots from all directions, so I gave up trying to sail, rolled away the genoa and we motored for a few hours.