Thursday, July 19, 2012

Day 2- onward to Apia under the New Moon

Time: 2200 Zulu (noon Hawaii time)
Position: 13-deg 45-min S 166-deg 37-min W
Wind: ESE 13 Seas: E 7-ft
Avg. Course: 262-deg T
Avg. Speed: 4.5-knots
Rig: 80% jib
24-hr distance noon to noon: 108-nm
Distance to Apia: 300-nm

First order of business, tempt Chris to eat with a healthy, er at least tasty Cup-o-Soup and take seasick meds. Check! Good move as the food stayed down and a mere hour later he was getting feisty. We have been watching our bearing change to an uncharted reef where breakers were reported in 1988 and we entered our Rose Island waypoint into the GPS, just in case. Rose Island would be a wonderful destination- a tiny but full protection atoll full of wildlife. Unfortunately, one is supposed to check into American Samoa first and request permission to visit it, which apparently is not frequently granted. We do have information on how to enter, but we heard through the cruisers grapevine that Samoan scientists have requested that cruisers not visit in order to protect several endangered species that use the area. As Environmental Scientists, that rings true for us, so although it would be a wonderful respite, we will respect the rules and only stop if an emergency arises. Another thought was a roadstead anchorage off the western edge of Tau Island- also of American Samoa. Unfortunately our timing is such that we would have to stand off to make that work and we are unsure of the anchorages protection anyway. Therefore, it makes most sense to both of us to just continue to our intended destination of Apia, Western Samoa even though we will likely make landfall on the weekend.

Chris was well enough to check into the PacSea Net and even followed it with an off frequency conversation with some family friends that check in on us while underway. Shawn awoke for her watch which started with a nice sunset followed by a few sprinkles and then fresh alfalfa sprouts and literally "souped-up" leftovers for dinner. Chris' appetite is already back. The New Moon night was blissfully relaxing with stable weather, star-filled skies, and only a few passing sprinkles. What a change from the night previous. As the morning dawned, having passed over 30-nm from the uncharted reef, we jibed over to starboard tack to get back onto our route to Apia. A beautiful sun rise through a rain-filled squall which passed overhead and then illuminated a brilliant double rainbow in its wake. Our weather downloads for the day look promising and The Rag net weather confirmed good winds for our passage. Winds have backed to the E and go through cycles of between 5 and 15-knots, but mostly it has been a gorgeous 10-12-knot sailing morning under mostly sunny skies. By our noon point the clouds have built up and filled in. The forecast for tonight is for a wet one, we shall see.

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