Vaka Motu 'Rangi', April 29
Te Moana nui a Hiva
Things are going well here on the waka at this stage, we have finally reached warmer climates and are about to enter the latitudes of the south east trades. These are the prevailing winds that will hopefully carry us onward to Tahiti.
The ocean has now turned coulor to the turquoise pastel blue that let’s you know you have entered the tropics. The weather is deliciously warmer when compared to the cold conditions we’ve recently experienced, and there are more star constellations appearing that are not seen totally from Aotearoa, at this time of the year as they are mostly associated with summer months. The days are longer as we head closer to where the sun rises and sets where as in Aotearoa, the sun is seen less making the days shorter, this heralding the coming winter.
We were lucky enough to have caught a fish today and were assured by our Tahitian whanau that this ika Pae’ere was an indicater that we are in their home waters. We are 780nms away from Tahiti.
That part of the blog was written last night at 11pm. It’s now 9am the following day and things out here in water world have changed dramatically. 3am, big winds, big waves with white caps and foam. All the trimmings arrived, Titaua, and his watch Astrid, Matani and Pererikia safety harnessed up went about the work of reefing the jib (the jib is the sail at the front or bow of the waka). Not an easy job in such conditions, and throw in no moon light to work with. We use head lights that have a red light. Setting this red light is used to stop night glare from each others lamps. Bit like an opossum startled in car head lights.
Safety of crew is related directly to good sail management and to see both gelling together is awesome. Back to the present the sun’s out and our little waka is maintaing good form. We’ve found ourselves being squeezed between two weather systems, hence the today’s seascape. The weather may be here for a couple of days, so it’s all hands at the ready as we plug our way carefully through the day ahead.
Position: 27 546.86S 153 31.31W
Speed: 6.5 knts
Wind: 30 knts easing as I write to 25 knts
Course: 40 degrees. our line to Tahiti is 21 degrees, we sail high to stop surfing large swells.
Swell: 4.5 meter easing
Cloud: 20%, no rain
Written by Pat Mohi