10 January 2009 | Fauro Island
Figuring our way up the Bouganville coast has turned into a very interesting logistical challenge. At the moment there is a very nasty monsoon trough to the south of us dumping huge amounts of rain on the southern Solomons. It is also creating stronger than normal winds from the NW up here. Transiting either coast of Bouganville requires sailing NW.
We could just sail north but the wind turns north a few degrees up. We need to get to Kapingamarangi to deliver rice, flour, sugar, and all of the other supplies we have. The only way forward is to knock off chunks of ground to the NW when the weather allows until we can sail NE to Kapingamarangi.
This requires careful use of weather data and consideration of local effects. To that end we have plotted a route plan against spot forecasts that gets us up the coast of Bouganville over the next few days. We will tackle the toughest cape with the most wind acceleration and exposure on the lightest wind day. We are also going to be getting underway very early in the morning (3ish) to maximize the calming effect of the land breeze and katabatic winds coming off of the high island of Bouganville.
It is a little tricky because we are also trying to pick anchorages where there aren't known problems (Bouganville has few of these) and we are trying to ensure that we don't have to hole up anywhere but instead can move along everyday.
We have a good plan in place at present but will just have to see how the wether evolves.
In the mean time we are enjoying a wonderful anchorage. Whistler came over today from Oema island and anchored in 60 feet. This was possible by backing up toward shore and then tying a stern line to a tree. He has a great spot.
We finally got around to cook all of the lobster we have picked up over the last couple weeks. It was a fun night of poker and great food with Angelique and Whistler.