Hikianalia Report: Oct. 11, 8:05 PM HST light winds … but gathering clouds foretelling stronger winds

Clear sky all day but gathering clouds in the evening, especially ao nu‘a (thick clouds) and ao manu (high clouds), foretelling stronger winds or a possible system approaching.

The appearance and movement of clouds are used to forecast weather.

(See Predicting Weather: Reading Clouds and Sea Statesand Non-Instrument Weather Forecasting.)

Hikianalia was able to make the best of light winds by experimenting with various sail configurations. We have a full-bellied foresail, called a Drifter, that worked very well as a staysail between the main and mizzen sails.  We were able coax 4 to 5 knots out of very light winds. The gentle pace allowed us good chances for cleaning the canoe and the bright, warm sun encouraged showering. Tonight before dinner, we discussed how we should prepare the canoe, items aboard and ourselves for the predicted stronger winds and worse weather that is predicted along our path.

Sail Data

  • time: 2012-10-12 06:05 UTC/GMT (20:05 HST Oct 11)
  • position: 35.2575 degrees S 179.1234 degrees W
  • course: 065 degrees True
  • speed: most of the day 4 to 5 knots, reduced to about 2 to 3 knots at 5 pm to allow Faafaite to close with us for night sailing
  • weather: clear sky all day but gathering clouds in the evening, especially ao nua and ao manu high clouds, foretelling stronger winds or a possible system approaching. (See Predicting Weather: Reading Clouds and Sea States and Non-Instrument Weather Forecasting.)
  • wind: SW winds have clocked to NW but very light, about 10 knots
  • sea state: predominant SW swell 6-8 feet, NW swell 4 feet
  • vessel and crew condition:  all ok (Faafaite also)


  • Celestial Observations, Navigation Stars, Planets and Moon Phases: Still too bright for stars.
  • Animal Life: None observed today.
  • Sea Birds and Sea Life: Another albatross flew near us for a while.
  • Marine Debris: One piece of Styrofoam and a bottle were seen.
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