The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Fri 10 Jul 2015 20:43



12:24S  157:38E


So far we've done 600 miles with 300 miles to go.  We did 140 miles in the past 24 hours – if we can keep up this average speed then we might just arrive in time to get through the pass in the reef on the 13th. We're on a course of 290°, have 80% cloud cover and a 10-15 knot SSE wind pushing us along on a broad reach at 5-6 knots. We’ve got 2 metre seas and it’s pleasant sailing conditions  Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


10 July 2015  Luganville to Papua New Guinea (Day 5)

Today was tough.  The wind picked up to 20-25 knots and the seas built to 3 metres making us rock and roll violently – it was hard to sleep and one hand had to be on the boat all the time.


A couple of squalls hit us giving 30+ knot winds for 30 minutes each time.   We were mostly running directly downwind, but when the squalls hit, the wind backed by 30 degrees forcing us to turn 30 degrees to port to make sure that the main didn’t gybe.  I then had to don swimming shorts and go out on the bucking foredeck, in the rain, to remove the main sail preventer, so that we could get back on course – I don’t like getting wet…


Fortunately, it brightened up in the afternoon and the wind dropped to 15-18 knots with a corresponding reduction in the wave height.  By sunset, we had pleasant downwind sailing conditions, which continued until dawn.


The highlight of the day was a Brown Booby landing on the solar panels – I managed to scare it off before it pooped on the panels.  The low point was finding a big, 30mm long cockroach hanging onto our fruit basket in the galley – I killed it, but Glenys is now paranoid that there are more lurking aboard.