Unbelievably, this tiny village of 50 people, on a small atoll 800 miles away from what we would call “civilization” has reasonable internet service. I am typing these words from the nav table at anchor! You have to love technology sometimes… I bet a thank you is also in order for the Cook Islands Protectorate, New Zealand. Thanks Kiwi’s!
We are continuing to bash our way closer to Penrhyn (Tongareva). Only 26 more miles to go. We should be inside the pass by 2:00pm local.
The last 200 miles have been very hard earned. We have been close on the wind, sailing when we can and motor-sailing when the wind dictates. We have been battling squall after squall. The wind direction is all over the map. The current is moderately strong and fluctuates between 0.5 and 1.0 knots. The interesting part is the current is coming from the SE, not the E as I expected. Right now we are heading SE and have the current right on the nose. Only making 3 knots VMG towards Penrhyn with the engine on.
We dumped the last two jerry jugs of diesel in the tank yesterday and are now down to about 6-7 gallons. We really hope they can sell us some fuel. They just installed a huge solar farm on the island and no longer run the diesel generator station so we’re hoping we can buy some fuel from them. It’s all downwind to Samoa but we like to have the safety margin and be able to move in light air, when the seas are calm.
We are both ready to be done with the longest leg of the season. We have sailed over 2,000 miles since leaving Oahu less than a month ago. To put that into perspective, the distance we have already covered is the same distance required to: cross the Atlantic Ocean, sail from Alaska to Cabo, or to sail from San Francisco to Guatemala! The rest of the season is all downwind to Australia. That will be a very welcome change. Better grease up the whisker pole! Time to slow down, explore, relax and catch up on the growing list of boat projects.
During my watch last night I was sitting against the stern rail and had my face in the breeze and I swear I smelled the fragrant aroma of fresh tiare flowers. I didn’t know it was possible for a scent to travel this far but I swear I smelled it for about 10 minutes. It’s not from Penrhyn or any atoll because the flowers only grow on high fertile islands like the Marquesas, 1,000 miles to the east. Alyssa thinks I’m full of it but I swear I smelled the flowers. Someone look it up and see if it’s possible for a scent to travel that far, or just let me know I need to check my sanity and stop putting in a thousand sea miles per week.
Lewis & Alyssa
May 22, 2015
08 44 S
158 25 W