13 July 2018 | South Pacific
I know I've said before that the Pacific Ocean is misnamed, and I hold to that. Rare have been the moments of the perfect tradewind sailing. Today the wind is back to 20-24 knots and the seas are lumpy. I had to strap myself in the galley just to make an emmental cheese sandwich for breakfast. And to spill half my coffee. The plus side is that with the wind direction, Mazu's sheets are eased and the speedometer tells me we are averaging over 7 knots. Yesterday I read up about Niue island. It sounds fascinating in many ways but for various reasons I think I may give it a miss. There is a weather trough that may make it not the best choice in couple of days time. There is a nagging thought that one ought to stop and see every place en route, but clearly that is impossible and I am comfortable skipping many places with no regrets. I also recognize that there is another factor driving my present plan to straight to Tonga. It is the ever present disquieting feeling of vulnerability sailing far out to sea alone. I am constantly looking at the weather forecasts to anticipate bad weather. Bad weather makes life uncomfortable and stressful, and goodness knows, there is plenty of that already offshore. So I recognize a fundamental urge to get to a safe harbour where inclement weather can be dealt with more easily and safely. Althoiugh this is a relatively benign area I am sailing in, there are enough weather phenomena that come along that make proximity to a safe and comfortable anchorage highly desirable. I was very glad to have been in Bora Bora and not at sea when the last trough/front came through. Last night I had to do battle with a genoa sheet that jammed in the jaw of the whisker pole. All got sorted out without any damage in the end and I was able to gybe the sail and drop the pole. I was drenched with spray and sweat and blessed the water maker as I took a shower in the cockpit before retiring to my bunk. I heard this morning from a friend a few days behind me that they broke their whisker pole in the night. In the night the clouds cleared and I was treated to a spectacular starlit sky and no moon. I stayed up gazing at it for a long time, spellbound. I've pretty much given up fishing. When I do, there is no catching. Same as when I don't put out lines because its too rough to contemplate landing, gutting and filleting a fish. I have only seen one vessel since leaving Bora Bora. It was another sailboat that had visited the very last atoll in French Polynesia, Maupihaa. OK, thats all the typing gymnastics I can take. I dream of a large steady table with space all around my computer for papers, books, a mug of tea, perhaps a cat.....