TIME: 2016/05/22 23:24
COMMENT: Beach House -En Route – Hiva Oa to Rairoa – Tuamotu Islands – Day 2 – 151 nm (122 nm to go) Should be early a.m. arrival.
Whew! Yesterday was light air on a beam reach with 10 knots of Easterly gentle trades. At 4 a.m. local time (why always after midnight?),
Nik woke me up for the first of what would be about 10 squalls in our neighborhood. We took in our headsail and put in a precautionary reef in the main sail. Only two got a piece of us and winds were no greater than just over 20 knots. We also benefited from the full moon and could pretty easily see them. The radar is a big help in determining whether the squalls will hit us or just graze by.
The squall line was quite discernible and we knew this was the harbinger of the south easterlies we would soon encounter. This is what\’s known in Polynesia as a \”Maramu\”. Strong, high pressure winds out of the SE. Usually, these will last around a week. The good news is, this isn\’t a whammer! At least not so far. Predictions are actually for it to lessen in about 24 hours, but remain South Easterly.
When we looked at the weather window, we knew we had to bank as much easting as possible, because once this wind hit, we\’d be close reaching for Rairoa (which we are now!). At first, the seas were a washing machine and there was little wind for several hours. Once we were clearly on the south side of the squall lines, the winds came fast and the direction changed in an instant. We had 18-22 knots out of the SE and then SSE! which we really didn\’t want. Fortunately, \”Beac House\” aka: Miss Piggy again with her speed, got us far enough south and we\’re close reaching in 18-22 knots (wind about 65 deg apparent) with staysail and double reefed main. This is comfortable and we\’re directly on heading for the entrance at Rairoa Atoll\’s lagoon. We\’re keeping a little extra south-ing in the bank in case the winds decide to go back to SSE. The twin Atolls will give us nice cover from the seas when we are about 6-8 miles away. This will be welcome.
There are several other boats behind us and hopefully they will encounter no more difficulties than we have so far. When we speak to them on the radio, though only 120 miles behind us, it\’s like we\’re in two different oceans regarding the weather.
Hopefully tomorrow, we\’ll report successful entrance to the lagoon and anchorage around this time tomorrow.
Scott and Nikki – yet again making fabulous meals under duress….:-)