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Anthem Adrift
Tenacious Turned Tenuous
09/02/2010, En Route to Pago Pago, Day 4

September 1

Smug with supreme confidence that weather would change, continued beating toward Pago Pago. This faith was rewarded when wind, which had backed north allowing perhaps a faint smell of tuna to waft the 100 or so miles to here, died altogether. OK, not what was in mind (or whatever occupies that space), but was yet smug with supreme confidence. that.. weather... would.... change. Hmmmm. Could easily motor there by tomorrow, but having come so far with so little help, preferred not.

In fact, morning GRIB (this, as previously reported, is possibly an acronym for 'Grudgingly Reported Inaccurate Bullflop' or, more likely, GR stands for 'Gleefully Reprehensible' (sportier readers may substitute more expressive terms for 'flop')), indicated wind becoming SE at 15 tonight. Smugness reigned, but frayed at edges as sea continued glassy throughout day.

Finally gave up at dark as wind remained insufficient to keep pointy end stabilized on any heading at all and progress since 0900 was one NM due entirely to ENE current. Movement forward now noisily proceeding apace with anchor set expected just after noon tomorrow.

"The best way to compile inaccurate information that no one wants is to make it up." - Scott Adams


Samoa East Wind
09/01/2010, En Route to Pago Pago, Day 3

August 31

Another month kicked in the tookas. Looking back, seems like time was well filled, but it still scuttled past like a frightened crab. For September plan to be in Neiafu (village), Vava'u (island group), Tonga (country) for sailing regatta middle of month after visiting Samoa (Western) and New Potatoes. This all assumes first making it to American Samoa at some point in the near future as light wind remains north.

Enjoying down time of leisurely passage to Pago Pago, however roused torpid carcass for utilization of toolage to delve into tightly engineered archana of Honda generator hoping to make the thing quieter and save fuel. It's currently running flat out full time while feeding battery. Carburetor throttle control found frozen like it's welded. Now where did that carb cleaner on buy list go? Still in store?

Accounts are flooding in (two) that indicate destination harbor is actually pretty nice. Reporting boats must be upwind of north side tuna factories and probably consider dragging through mud slurry bottom a fun and interesting pastime. Must be as everybody (unsubstantiated hyperbole) is doing it. Hope to find out some day.


Polar Primate Prognostications
08/31/2010, En Route to Pago Pago, Day 2

More Whale Tail

August 30

Another day, another 90.9 nautical miles. That two day thing was frittered away yesterday by killing the Westerbeke (excessive violence was unnecessary). May arrive Pago Pago (don't forget the unwritten 'N') sometime Wednesday with occurrence of either actual forecast for wind backing to NW or veering to SE, depending on which monkey threw the dart. I'm rooting for chimp number two. (apology to apes, which are neither monkeys nor consistently wrong about the weather).

Despite tracking languidly toward Niuatoputapu (nyoo ah TOE poo TAH poo - referred to as New Potatoes, for good reason), 204 NM west southwest of destination, there are no plans for utilizing exploding diesel to push pointy end in better direction as sailing is excellent with no urgency to anchor off largest tuna packing operation on earth before mail arrives on Monday. Heard fish goo is piped offshore now instead of into harbor, however, one should nevertheless eschew eating anything caught there or swimming. Breathing, for those with a sense of smell, is discouraged. Amputating any body part dipped into the water is probably excessive and widely considered unnecessary.

Although lethargy inducing reading has occupied preponderance of waking life last two days, managed to mend frayed lazy jack (no relation), reacquire stereo power and drill & tap boom to move preventer control block for better function. Expectation for reprise of useful occupation tomorrow is minimal.


Bob's Your Uncle?
08/30/2010, En Route to Pago Pago, Day 1

Whale Sounding

August 29

Benefit party at Matavai Resort went way late as ride back to Alofi stayed until bitter end. Whale breaching just off shore at sunset provided good PR for research group, plus music and dancing made the evening very enjoyable. Begging for bucks was agreeably low key, but pecuniary production was impressive. Factoid: Unable autonomically, whales breathe consciously and therefore can't sleep. They rest by shutting down half their brains. This is a habit of many humans, as well, who neglect to restart.

Preponderance of whales are either tardy or have removed Niue from this year's itinerary. However, observed two a tiddlywink flip behind boat Friday night (loud breathing sounded like a fireworks rocket going up), the one last evening and a cow and calf in the anchorage this morning. Considered staying awhile in case area gets lousy with them (was told it was hard to sleep last year for the noise), but whales are as notoriously undependable as weather guessers who predicted fair east wind (Pago Pago is north) for next two days before three day lull with some northwest making anchorage uncomfortable. Unwarranted trust in verisimilitude of the biped currently has boat beating into 4.5 knot north zephyr and hoping for American Samoa before shipped parts arrive Monday a week.

Meanwhile sea, virtually calm, exhibits a very long two meter swell, larder is stocked, grog is at hand, no albatrosses have been harmed and, preferring peacefulness, pressing posthaste for Pago Pago appears pretty passably purposeless.


What About Bob?
08/29/2010, Alofi, Niue

Sea Snake

August 28

Spent all day on boat projects... yes, work. OK, except for diving on the caves, but that was it. Fingers are mere smoking nubbins. This operation is approaching ready to float away in the O dark hundreds tomorrow if a smidgen of wind can be coaxed from Aeolus.

Went back to Chimney and Caves for pictures with, unfortunately, cloudy sky. Began playing with sea snakes, then realized this might be a sportier activity without gloves, which had been left on boat, but discovered that higher surge in cave and grottos was sufficient diversion.

Weather weasels forecast an adequacy of breeze on the beam through Tuesday morning before going light and on the nose. He, she and it are wrong, of course. Just hoping that direction of wrongness is toward more wind on beam and for longer. How do you spell phat chanse? Trip would take until Tuesday morning with good wind or well into next month if current conditions persist. May burn some diesel or just bob around in northeast swell for awhile.

Will get ride to whale benefit at Matavai Resort at 1700 which promises to go late as ridee is with research group and suspected party animal.


Terminal Tenacity
08/28/2010, Alofi, Niue

Talava Arches

August 27

After various activities such as clearing out with customs and breakfast, finally got seven-man (def: a human being of either sex) self-guided tour on the road. Visited Togo Chasm, Talava Arches, Matapa Chasm, Palaha Cave and some other stuff - arches, caves, chasms and pools plus arches, caves and chasms with pools. All very cool, but one of the men (who could conceivably take umbrage at that designation) was over-caved and waited in van at last stop.

There are many helpful signs along roads exhorting population to save resources and not litter. This all seemed harmless enough until a sign was sighted enjoining the elimination of "persistent organic pollutants". Wonder if they realize that cruisers are seldom excessively persistent? Given large numbers of graves around the island and not wanting to test the limits, have resolved to remain pallidly diffident for remainder of stay. And they seemed so friendly.

If interest remains high, however, will tempt fate as described above by diving The Chimney and Bubble Cave tomorrow with new arrivals. Dive company reportedly gets a little peeved by divers using their buoys, but not them at $120 a shot, so we'll wait until they leave site around noon and use our own dinghy anchors. Departure toward Pago Pago the following day before sunup while wearing Richard Nixon Halloween mask will be entirely unrelated.

"On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time." - George Orwell


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