Out from under the SPCZ
29 September 2008 | South Pacific
The weather last night decided that we are going to Niue. We may sail up to Samoa for fun anyway but it is getting late in the season so we'll have to see how the schedule is shaping up. We are going to make some investigations as to visiting Australia while in Fiji. Australia is not a dog friendly place so we're still more likely to head north via Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.
Our sail last night was not bad. It was pretty flat (for the middle of the ocean) and we were way reefed down after being hit with three 30 knot squalls in the early part of the evening. We did about 6 knots through the night in pitch darkness. It was not only very overcast but a new moon. It is bizarre humming along at 6-7 knots totally blind. You keep a look out for lights but in this part of the ocean you really don't see other boats too often (never on this particular passage). The radar helped us see the various showers and squalls about. Most were too big to avoid so we simply stayed on the rhumb line.
In the morning the sun was impossible to see. It just got lighter. The SPCZ oppression slowly lifted though throughout the day. The wind is very light on this side and from the NW. We have been motor sailing and it looks as if we will make Niue tomorrow late in the day.
The afternoon turned out to be perfect, if you must motor. The sky was blue with just enough fluffy cumulus to reduce the skin cancer rate. There was a little breeze and it was nice and cool. The ocean is as flat as I have ever seen it and we are just buzzing along at 8 knots under main, jib and Yanmar.
189nm to Niue