Coming around Niue
30 September 2008 | Niue
We had a beautiful night of motor sailing (with the exception of the motor). A long flat 5 foot swell rolled through the ocean mixing with other smaller swells from distant parts and various directions. The sky was clear except for the occasional fair weather cumulus and a myriad of stars. Nights like this with no moon are great for viewing shooting stars and bio-luminescence in the wake, both of which we enjoyed last night.
We rolled up the jib just after sunset as the wind began its predicted passage to the south, crossing our bow. At 2AM we were down to 7 knots over ground and we needed to be more in the 8 range to make Niue by sunset in the coming day. At the shift change (2AM for us) Hideko and I pulled the jib out on port tack and trimmed things up. We had about 5 knots from the SE (aft of the beam) and with one Yanmar at 2,000 RPMs we managed to push the wind around to 55 degrees off of the port bow, producing the desired 8 knots of way.
Normally no one is allowed alone on deck on our boat when underway without a harness/PFD and tether. The wind and seas were so calm we agreed clipping in with harnesses would not be necessary if you stayed in the cockpit. Oddly enough we were so used to wearing our fairly light inflatable pfd/harnesses that we both felt more comfortable wearing them. If you fall off of your boat while on passage in the ocean when your spouse is sleeping the prognosis is not good. The likelihood of falling off in these conditions is not high but then again it is free to clip in.
We are really looking forward to Niue. Our friends on O'Vive said they loved it and wished they were there. We had whales in the anchorage in Palmerston which was amazing, and Niue is supposed to be visited just as often by the Humpbacks. In Niue you are allowed to snorkel with them as well, which everyone reports to be the experience of a lifetime.
We had a nice day of motor sailing today with flat seas and 5 knots of wind. We made 8 knots at 2,000 RPM all day, keeping our timetable. Just as we sighted Niue the new pink squid lure I had rigged started running. then Hideko's ceder plug hit as well. Hideko's got off but we landed a nice Tuna on the other line.
We are now less than three miles from Niue where it is about 4PM. We should have no problem making the mooring before sunset at 6PM.