Vaka Motu 'Rangi', May 2
We are 650nm away from Papeete and hope to be in by NZ Monday if weather holds out for us. It’s looking a bit messy the next few days with a small low developing to the west of Papeete. If we can get up north the next two days we will be able to use the lows wind to sail in on.
Today we will pass to the west of the Australes islands, sailing between the last three so hopefully we will get to sight them. Our course will take us 25nm to the east of Rurutu island. It is 600 meters high but the sky is still very cloudy and rain seems to surround us, but not rain on us, cutting visibility down on the horizon.
Our crew of eight sailors is split into two groups of four, each group or watches as we call them has a six hour time on deck sailing, then a six hour rest time. Each watch has been doing good miles per six hours 30-45 nm. As we get closer the miles are harder to gain with the wind shifting direction every few hours and changing in strength and direction making choosing the right size sail and sail trim a constant challenge.
Challenge is what keeps sailing fresh to us, the constant change in conditions, and how we respond to them keeping our waka on a steady course. There is so much to learn about sailing that directly relates to life skills and awareness of our environment, so go waka sailing!
Position: 23 11.91S 151 12.37W
Speed: 6 knts
Wind: 15 knts SE
Swell: 1.5m SE
Cloud cover: complete haze all around