The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Mon 8 Sep 2014 19:38



13:30S  170:11W


So far, we've done 790 miles with 100 miles to go to Samoa. We’re on a beam reach with 6-10 knots of wind and 3 foot seas.  It’s a beautiful day with white fluffy clouds. In the past 24 hours we’ve done 120 miles so we should be arriving off Apia around dawn tomorrow. Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


7 September 2014 Penrhyn to Apia, Samoa ( Day 6)

A trough passed to the south of us which sucked the wind out of the area, so we had a slow day.   We had blue skies and calm seas in the morning, so while Glenys went to bed, I sat at my chart table working on my laptop.  When she woke up two hours later, the wind had dropped to less than 5 knots and we were only moving at 2 knots - I hadn't noticed because I was so engrossed in what I was doing down below.


While it was so calm, we ran the generator & the water maker and I clambered up the arch to wash the Booby poo from our solar panels - what a mess.  We then motored for a couple of hours through the afternoon, before the wind picked up enough to sail again.  At sunset, we had a pleasant 8-12 knot breeze from the south, putting us on a close reach, which was lovely in the calm, three foot  seas.

By midnight, we only had 130 miles to go, so we were content to plod along at 4-5 knots, aiming to have one more night at sea.  


Sometime tomorrow, somewhere between American Samoa and Samoa, we will cross the International Date Line.  Suddenly we will lose a day of our lives as the date changes from Tuesday to Wednesday.  This is a difficult concept to grasp.  If we cross the date line at 10:30 on a Tuesday, how does it suddenly become 10:30 on a Wednesday? Is there some physical time barrier that we pass through and we sail into the future?


I was always fascinated by the way that Superman goes into the future by flying around the world at incredible speeds.  Let's say that Superman leaves American Samoa at 10:30 on Tuesday 9th September and flies around the world in a westward direction (and it takes him 1 minute), then he'll fly over Samoa one second after 10:30 on Wednesday 10th September and will arrive back in American Samoa one minute later at 10:31.  If he does this 30 times, then he'll land in American Samoa at 11:00 on the 10th October - one month in the future.  Therefore, I conclude that time travel is possible.  Now where are those red underpants?


The rest of the night was idyllic sailing with a full moon and a cloudless sky, although the wind dropped off at sunrise and Glenys had to motor for a couple of hours.