Sunday, July 20, 2014

Niue!

I'm on a mooring in the mooring fields at Niue. Yay!

I left Beveridge Reef on Saturday morning with nice wind, 10 knots from the ENE. As I was on a bearing of around 290 degrees, just north of west, that wind was very sailable and I made pretty good time. The forecast was for the wind to back around to the north over the day, with N or NNE winds overnight. The strength was forecast to stay in the 10 knot range, a little less overnight and then have it fall to light and eventually light from random directions Sunday evening. Unfortunately I got the light from random direction wind last night. At 1am Luckness was moving through the water at 1.9 knots, against a 0.5 knot current making little progress. At that speed, I wouldn't have been in Niue for quite a long time. I was hoping the forecast wind would return so I left the boat to make her slow way toward Niue for an hour, after which things slowed down a little. I started motoring at 2am and ended up motoring the rest of the way, around 12 hours with the engine on. Its noisy, its harder to sleep, when the engine is on it feels like there are so many more things that can go wrong and I worry about them - but Luckness' diesel engine has given nothing but reliable service. Without the engine I would still be 50 or 60 miles away, and perhaps days from arriving. The wind was in the range 0 to 3 knots from every direction of the compass. Old school sailors would still be out there, waiting patiently for the wind to arrive again. Instead, I'm here, on a mooring, getting ready to eat an early dinner, maybe drink a beer (no beer for me while on passages), and sleep soundly.

I'll check into the country Monday morning so I don't have much to report. The coastline is very green! The island isn't very large, Niue is the smallest country in the world. The island is also quite flat - it rises perhaps a few hundred feet and then is flat from that point on. Once I start exploring I'll take along my camera and forward a few pics. Which reminds me, I need to blog about Beveridge Reef and post a few pictures of that as well. I'll try to get to that this week - I've read that I will be able to have internet on the boat while on a mooring here. That would make updating things a little easier.

All is well. Well, perhaps I'm a little tired, that should soon be fixed.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Passage to Beveridge Reef: day 9 and arrival!

Date: July 10, 2014
20° 01.524' S 167° 45.945' W
24 hour run: 48nm
Previous 24 hour run: 116nm
Water Temp: 77.0. Brrrrr!
Log: ?
Distance to go: Zero!

Just a quick note, I've arrived in Beveridge Reef and am anchored on a sand shelf, in 10 feet of water, on the south side of the reef. I arrived at 3pm after almost abandoning the effort for today. There was a six to nine foot south to south west swell in the area, and I wasn't sure how that would go with the entrance to the reef, which is facing west. I decided to head over to the entrance and see how it looked. One thing led to another, and I motored through the pass at 1:30pm. It was a little hairy. The swell was much reduced in size, but what was left of it was meeting an outgoing current of 1.5kn - I wasn't quite surfing the boat in, but I had to be careful to keep her pointed in the right direction.

I'll talk more about where I am in some future post. For now -

All is well onboard. I'm looking forward to sleeping without being interrupted every 20 minutes tonight!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Passage to Beveridge reef, day 8

Date: July 8, 2014
19° 21' S 165° 34' W
24 hour run: 135nm
Previous 24 hour run: 134nm
Water Temp: 77.9. Brrr!
Log: 15020
Distance to go: 130nm

The previous two noon-to-noon runs were pretty decent, the wind had picked up and I made some good progress. The motion of the boat was not as relaxed as it had been, but it felt good to be making better speed through the water and the gurgling sound as Luckness created her wake and left it behind was nice to hear again. The forecast has been fairly accurate for these last few days. It predicted the stronger wind for the previous couple of days and that it would fall off today, as it has. Progress has slowed today. I was thinking I may have made it into the reef tomorrow, July 9th, but that won't happen now. I'm hoping to enter the reef on the 10th, although the conditions at the time will dictate my go/no-go decision. There is predicted to be a westerly wind on the 10th, and the pass faces west. I'm expecting that tonight the wind will start backing around to the north, with my ending up with an upwind sail by tomorrow.

Life here is good. Its warm out, although perhaps cooling down somewhat. Its winter here - the air temperature was below 80 degrees today - maybe even cooler than North America these days?

All continues to be well onboard.

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Passage to Beveridge reef, day 6

Date: July 6, 2014
18° 35' S 160° 57' W
24 hour run: 128nm
Previous 24 hour run: 73nm
Water Temp: 80.6
Log: 14773
Distance to go: 398nm

The wind stayed away for a while, then came and blew for a while and has now gone away again. It was nice yesterday, sailing along at 6+ knots in 16-18 knots of wind. I'm currently sailing at 4.5 kts in 10 knots of wind, with a poled out genoa and a double reefed main. The main is deeply reefed as there is too little wind to keep the sail full in the swell, and reefing it stops it from banging back and forth as the boat pitches and rolls. There is a lot of pitching and rolling going on.

With any luck, I should be arriving on the 10th. I'm looking forward to my 'landfall' - as there is no land, only submerged reef. It should be an interesting stop.

All continues to be well onboard.

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